Is family time at the dining table important (and realistic?) in today’s fast-paced world?
Yes, it is…but it may look different than you expect.
Researchers at Columbia University have found a direct connection between children’s emotional and physical well-being and the frequency of dedicated family meals. Children who have meals with their families at least five times a week are more likely to do well in school and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
You may think, “We’re just too busy for family meal times- especially five a week!”
I get it!
Homework, practice, meetings, social activities, games…the to-do list goes on and on, and family time feels shorter and shorter.
Take heart, mama! I’m here to help. Consider these two points.
The researchers said at least five times a week, not every single meal. If getting your family together at the dining table is a challenge, then set some goals. Start with small steps. Maybe three meals this week. Eventually, try for five. I promise it will be worth the effort.
A meal could be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a snack! Cereal and fruit, take-out pizza, sandwiches, ice cream sundaes, or a gourmet meal- the food doesn’t really matter. Simply gather around the family dining table and dine together.
Pro Tip- Could you get up a little bit earlier and start the day with breakfast together? Or enjoy a long lunch on Sunday after church? Or maybe you all sit at the kitchen table for hot chocolate and a cookie just before bedtime. Get creative. Think outside the box.
I promise it will be worth the effort.
Wishing you and your family happy dining!