5 WAYS FAMILY DINNERS CAN BOOST YOURS AND YOUR KIDS’ HEALTH
Family dinner can be a distraction from day to day anxieties and stresses for kids as well as parents. Tip: Make dinner time your family’s daily ritual.
Make dinner time a moment to spend quality time and connect with your kids. The atmosphere at the table is as important as the nutrients in the food. Tip: Don’t watch TV! Talk openly and make your kids comfortable with talking.
Getting your kids involved in preparing food, serving and cleaning can be a great way to spend more quality time together, and to lead by example. Tip. Divide tasks. Take this opportunity to turn chores into joys.
Research shows that families who dine together tend to consume more fruits and vegetables, and less unhealthy fried foods and sodas etc. Younger kids in such families are less likely to be overweight, reducing the risk of other physical and mental health issues later in life. Tip: It doesn’t have to be expensive, gourmet or organic to reap the benefits.
Research shows that family dinners can promote a healthy lifestyle and improve brain activity of kids. Dinner time conversations boosts the vocabulary in younger children more effectively than by being read aloud to. Adolescents in families that frequently (5 to 7 times) ate dinner together were more likely to get better grades in school than those who dined together fewer than 2 times a week. Tip: Have family dinners regularly or more frequently.
Sources: The Family Dinner Project, Stanford Children’s Health, WebMD