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Family Mealtime

Whats the big deal?

Yumi Bjelde Amie Dalby Ruth Kindt Kristen Miles Justin Morgan

Does Dinner Matter?

Why should busy families bother? What are the benefits?

Benefits of family meals

fewer eating disorders
decreased substance abuse better grades better health higher academic scores better behavior sense of belonging

A Recipe for Better Health

According to an article written by physician Mark Hyman, eating together as a family is going to save our lives. He reported that in 1990 2% of meals were eaten outside of the home. By 2010, that number had climbed as high as 50% of meals being eaten outside of our homes. Americans complain of not having enough time to cook family dinners. We spend more time watching cooking shows on tv than we do actually preparing a healthy home cooked meal.

Tips to Improve Family Mealtime

Get rid of processed food and fill your refrigerators and pantries with whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables,

and foods filled with healthy nutrients.

Make a set dinner time and adhere to it as closely as possible.

No cell phones at the dinner table.

No television while eating dinner. Drink water or juices low in sugar instead of soda.

Cook together.

Who is involved in a family mealtime?

Anyone that eats a meal together should consider themselves a family. When a group of people get together pleasent conversation, a focus on those at the table and good manners should be present. This includes groups of friends, a family with one or both parents in the home and even those eating by themselves. Make an effort to make mealtime special and the benefits will appear.

A magic wand against substance abuse?

The family dinner is more powerful than any law we can pass, any

punishment we can level for protecting children against risky behavior.

527 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 that had family mealtime approximately 5 times a week. less likely to use drugs less likely to be depressed more motivated in school better relationships with family and peers

Better grades
Family mealtime appears to give students an edge in the classroom. In a Louis Harris & Associates survey of 2000 high school seniors, students who regularly ate family dinner scored better than those students who didnt. The results crossed all racial lines and were a greater indicator than whether the student was in a one or two parent home. Preschoolers also benefit from family mealtime. Research shows language skills were significantly better among the children ages 2-5 who ate regular family dinners with their parents. Researchers believe family dinners University of Illinois research found that children ages 7 to 11 who scored well in school achievement tests spent large amounts of time together at family mealtime. And interestingly, the students scored well whether their moms worked full time, part time, or not employed outside the home.

are an excellent opportunity for children to

have longer conversations with parents and expose them to a greater vocabulary of words than they would otherwise hear except around the family table. Researchers believe that

extended conversations provide young children

Importance of Family Meals

Behavior and Belonging

Rituals are very important to everyone, especially children says Fruh, a

family nurse practitioner. They help provide security and structure and
they give a sense of belonging. In a world where the emphasis on families is decreasing significantly, eating as a family can help curb the

growing distance and resentment between children and parents. In

times where most parents work and there is little room for family interaction, dinner brings the family together. Even if it is only for an hour.

Focus on What and Who is Important

Make mealtime a special occasion. put electronic devices away ask questions encourage good manners try and avoid food struggles be kind

There are many ways to begin changing your familys habits. This is just one!

Chron Blog. Love and Relationships. 2012. Web. ( Cornell Education. Human Cornell. 2013. Web.

Edmunds, Liz. The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner. Oregon: Palmer/ Pletsch Publishing. 2008. Print.

Focus on the Family. The Importance of Family Meals. 2010. Food For Talk. Food For Talk. 2013. Web. Huffington Post. Dr Mark Hyman. 2013. Web. USA Today. News Nation. 2013. Web.