This post is written by fellow blogger Emma Lawson. She is sharing about the benefits of planning family dinners. Enjoy her guest contribution on Lovely Little Lives!
It seems that a traditional family dinner has gone out of fashion. Quick, unhealthy snacks, eating on the go and eating out manage to squeeze out a slow-paced sit-down family dinner, and this is just a sign of the times. We can blame it all on a corporate, dog-eat-dog world we live in, but that would be a feeble excuse. Family dinner isn’t just about food, it’s more about sharing, warmth and teaching your kids to respect the right values. Here’s why you should clear out your schedule and enjoy an evening meal with your loved ones.
Establishing healthy eating habits
The global obesity and overweight pandemic doesn’t affect only adults, and WHO estimates that the number of overweight children under the age of 5 is over 42 million. As kids are constantly exposed to all kinds of unhealthy foods, it’s important to encourage them to develop healthy eating habits. Home-cooked meals are packed with nutrients, and you can control the portions. Studies have shown that kids who frequently eat with their parents are less likely to suffer from an eating disorder, depression or anxiety. Even if one of these problems occur, parents who eat regularly with their kids can easily notice and do something about that.
Introducing new foods
Kids can be picky when it comes to food, and getting them to try something new, especially broccoli or Brussels sprouts, is very challenging. That’s why family dinner presents a perfect opportunity to start slowly expanding their taste and adjusting their palate. When they see that everyone else is eating, they’ll be less likely to fuss over their food. Remember that kids are very impressionable, so eating asparagus enthusiastically in front of them, even if you don’t particularly like it, will surely have a positive impact on them and they’ll want to have a bite, too.
Don’t underestimate positive psychological effects of having dinner with your kids. At the end of each day, you can get together and start preparing food, which can be a truly fun part of the meal. Kids like being involved in everything their parents do, so if you want to additionally encourage them to participate, let them pick their favorite Ashdene mealtime set.
As you know, little things make life beautiful, so joking and laughing with your family over dinner should become your feel-good ritual. Spending quality time with the people you love also efficiently reduces tension and relieves stress.
Preventing bad influences
During the day, parents are busy at work and they don’t have enough time to see their kids and talk to them. Communication is the pillar of a healthy child-parent relationship, and family dinners create a relaxed atmosphere for sharing details about how everybody spent their day. By taking an interest in your kid’s life, asking them how things are at school, and what they have learned, you show them that you care and that they can tell you if they face any problems. Such an approach instills a sense of security in kids so that they don’t feel the need to lie. No wonder that kids who usually dine with their parents are less likely to start drinking, smoking or doing drugs than those who don’t.
Last but not least, being economical can be good for your budget. Cooking your own dinner is significantly less expensive than eating out or ordering food, and sometimes it can be way healthier. Instead of having burgers and fries at a fast food restaurant, have your kids help you make more nutritious, homemade burgers, without artificial condiments and calorie-packed dressings.
Use this meal planning resource to make planning family dinners even easier.
No matter how busy or tired you are, try to plan family dinners at least five times a week. This will provide you with an opportunity to enjoy some time with your kids, connect with them, and prevent potential behavior issues.
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This post is from a guest contributor. Emma Lawson is a passionate writer, online article editor at High Style Life and a health enthusiast. In her spare time, she likes to do research, and write articles to create awareness regarding healthy lifestyle. She also strives to suggest innovative home remedies that can help you lead a quality and long life. You can find her on Twitter @EmmahLawson