Families That Eat Together Stay Together — 3 Reasons to Dine as a Family

Family Eating Dinner

08 May 2019

 Families That Eat Together Stay Together — 3 Reasons to Dine as a Family

Thanks to family, we have the unconditional support and love of a select few (though unselected) individuals. Yet, with school, work, yoga class, soccer practice, chores, errands, and a myriad of other to-dos and responsibilities, family time is falling by the wayside. And with it, the relationships that matter the most.

The American dinner has been in a state of decline, extinguishing the daily opportunity to sit together, catch up, and connect over a fresh, delicious meal. In just the last 20 years, family meals have declined more than 33% — and the repercussions reach much further than most people imagine.

Families that eat together stay together and the inverse is becoming increasingly true — families that stay together eat together. Despite the challenges and inconveniences, there are plenty of notable reasons to make family dinner a priority. Here are just a few.

1. Family Bonds Are Forged Over Family Meals

Mom strategically tries to drag out even the tiniest morsel of the kids’ day, dad grunts occasionally with his face buried in a plate of mash potatoes, and a child wails about a sibling touching him. Sound familiar?

Even if this dramatic scene isn’t the case for your family, it’s certainly the stereotype of 50 years worth of sitcoms. Still, even if this slightly resembles your typical family dinner, there are special bonds being forged over the warm rolls and steaming vegetables. Teenagers who enjoy frequent family dinners are almost twice as likely to report to having excellent relationships with their parents. Family dinners might not be perfect, but they make an important impact — one we might not always recognize. 

2. Healthy Food Is Found on the Dining Table, Not in the Pantry

When a sit-down meal isn’t provided, kids often forage for their own food. And what do you think they will choose: the carrots and celery in the fridge or the double-stuffed Oreos in the pantry? The Oreos, right? For a child, it makes sense — Oreos are delicious, so why would they choose anything else?

Eating dinner as a family encourages healthy foods choices. From learning and experience, children learn not only what tastes good, but what makes them feel good and what keeps their bodies happy and healthy. A survey found kids who ate dinner with their families usually ate more fruits and vegetables and consumed less soda and fried foods. The diets of fruits and vegetables also had higher amounts of calcium, iron, and fiber. Eating as a family not only promotes healthier meals, but it gives parents a platform to discuss the nutritional decisions that went into the dish. Parents can explain why the plates are piled with broccoli and peas instead of french fries and tater tots or why the glasses are filled with water instead of soda. In almost all cases, healthy eating habits are learned from friends and family, not self-taught. And the inverse is true, too.

3. Regular Family Meals Lead to Greater Happiness

It may not seem like it when you’re juggling your to-do list in order to get dinner on the table, but family meals tend to lead to greater happiness. Not just for you — for everyone. Research shows children who eat with their parents regularly are more likely to have stronger emotional and mental health.

But it’s not just for the kids. According to a study by Brigham Young University, “making it home for dinner at least three times a week eased the negative effects of long working hours and helped employees feel more successful in their roles as parents and spouses.”

“If you’re able to make it home for dinner, you feel less conflict with work intruding on your family life and you feel more in control of things—and that translates into a feeling of success,” says Jenet Jacob, a family scientist in BYU’s School of Family Life.

Fresh, nutritious food is a priority at SareFood, and we’re on a mission to make it easy and affordable for families to eat healthy chef-made food in the comfort of their home. Life is busy — we get it. It’s not something you should feel guilty about. We make it easy to feed your family nutritious meals. Order directly from local chefs by Sunday and fresh meals will be delivered straight to your door.

We believe in the power of food. It connects us to friends, family, and the community. If you want to make family meals a priority, make your life simple and give SareFood a try. Take the hassle of cooking off your plate and put it on ours — our chefs will provide you with meals that’ll have your household begging for more family dinners. Try our service out and see for yourself!