“Backbone parents provide a healthy and flexible structure for mealtime. It is a celebration, an occasion to come together as a family to nourish the body, mind, and soul.”

                            -Barbara Coloroso, author of ‘Kids are Worth It’

 

Gathering around the dinner table, as a family -without television or cell phones – is a time to bond with others, give gratitude and enjoy the meal. 

 

This may seem like an obvious statement, but with busy modern schedules we all need a reminder once in awhile as to how important the family mealtime is to children and adults alike.

 

Mealtimes used to be a sacred time  - phones would not ring, family members were expected at the table and everyone ate the same thing. Times have changed as extracurriculars became more invasive of the six o clock dinner bell and social connecting via texting, twittering and facebooking has become non-stop.

 

So here is the gentle reminder brought to you by psychologists, epidemiologists and other health scientists:

 

Regular family mealtimes have been shown to reduce the chance that children will use drugs, smoke, get depressed, develop eating disorders or consider suicide. They will also be more likely to get better grades, delay having sex and eat healthier.

 

Besides all of that, where else are children going to learn how to set a table, how to hold their fork properly or hear family stories. Children are not the only ones to benefit – think of how family mealtimes encourage you to slow down, connect with loved ones and enjoy your meal.

 

So let’s schedule in supper, turn off the television and cell phones and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company and our food!

Enjoy Meals as a Family

by Edie Shaw-Ewald, RD

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© 2018 by The Dietitians Network of Nova Scotia.