Study suggests eating dinner as a family can improve your child's behaviour
It's a worthwhile endeavour.
With hectic schedules, and work/school/hobby commitments to fulfil it can be really challenging to find a time in the evening to all sit down together and enjoy an evening meal.
We always feel so content when we do make the effort to sit with our families at the end of the day and catch up with our loved ones, but it can definitely be difficult to always make this a reality.
Research is now suggesting that even sitting down once a week at a dinner table with the family can be very beneficial to children.
Maybe that's why the Simpsons always did it?!
A study in the Journal of Adolescent Health found kids and teens who share meals with their family on a frequent basis, had more positive mental health than those who didn't eat together. The ease of communication between parents and adolescents accounted for some of this association.
Children with families who eat together are also less likely to be overweight.
Plus, chances are if you're making rather than buying your meals, the whole family will be eating a lot healthier too.
As Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan says on Safefood's website:
"Families that eat together eat less food, but more quality food."
"Eating together as a family is both social and a great way to have some quality time as a family. Not to mention the family time, the swapping of funny happenings, the squabbles that make up a family life and lifelong bonds. Your children will remember these rituals with fondness, so it’s worth the effort."
It's also best to eat together without the TV on as watching a screen while eating could cause us to munch on autopilot - can't we all relate to that!
And if your kids are old enough, why not get them to help with the prep work? Evening meals need not be overly complicated. We have three simple and tasty pasta recipes that only take ten minutes. There's also three super tasty dinners that only require five ingredients.
Less time cooking, means more time chatting!