By Mei Yee
Is there an importance to eating together as a family? Yes, not just for kids but for adults as well.
Study after study shows that the more often families eat together, the less likely the kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, or develop eating disorders. Also, a growing body of research shows that these meals together can influence the quality of food that children and teens eat.
I know that some are not always able to sit down every day to eat with each other. Whether due to work schedules or kid's activities. I understand the convenience of going through the drive-thru to get something on busy days quickly.
Or honestly, there are days where I just do not have the energy to cook. And how easy it is to stop on our way home. I always tell the kids, though, and they cannot eat until we get home. This way we can still sit together to eat.
For those that follow the blog, you know I do have a rule of no electronics at the table. Which I think helps us be able to connect more, with fewer distractions. For our household, don't even bring it to the table.
I have a pre-teen who is autistic, so getting her to open up is hard, but it seems to be easier for her to open up at dinner. I don’t know why, but I am glad she does.
Have we always done this? No. There was a time when I was very depressed, and I let the kids eat wherever because I didn’t have the energy to clear off the table. So I made food for the girls and then went and laid on the couch.
It wasn’t until about three years when my grandfather passed that I started having us sit down together. It was hard, as I was still struggling, but I realized I needed to do a lot more for my girls. Even got them to help out in the kitchen so then it would seem less lonely.
About two and a half years ago, we had a more set routine of eating at least one meal together. I did find the girls ate more vegetables once we sat down together. Where before, my oldest would just eat everything else and scrape the veggies in the trash.
To be realistic, you won’t get to eat every meal together. And sometimes you won’t even get to eat together daily. But I think it is important to eat together when you. I know it has made an impact on our family for the better.