Having a 20 minute family meal five times a week promotes much more than just good nutrition and a healthy bank account. Take a look at the top benefits of sitting down with your kids:
1. Proper Manners
2. Enhanced Communication Skills and Overall Well-Being
3. Academic Improvement
4. Better nutrition
5. Great Contributor to Family Stability
6. Money saver
CNN wrote that, children who regularly eat dinner with their families are less likely to drink, smoke, take drugs or develop eating disorders. Here’s the bad news: Fewer and fewer of us can make this happen with our schedules. A UNICEF study found that the United States ranked 23rd out of 25 countries in the percentage of children who eat the main meal of the day with their parents several times a week.
As it turns out there are only 10 minutes of "productive time" in any family meal, according to linguistics expert Lyn Fogle. The rest is taken up with “Take your elbows off the table” and “Pass the potatoes.” Researchers have also found you can take that dinner and replace it with another meal. Can’t have family dinner? Have family breakfast. Meet for a bedtime snack. Even one meal a week together on weekends can have a positive impact. Even more surprising — what you talk about may be even more important than what you eat. Research shows parents do two-thirds of the talking around the table, says Fogle. If you’re doing that, you’re not taking full advantage of the opportunity of the shared time together.
The bottom line is that family dinner is less about the dinner and more about the family. Family meals are one of the few times when family members of different ages are on the same plane. Everyone can tell stories and give feedback and offer details. It actually helps family members work better in teams. Hence the cohesive family structure and stability.