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Dining at the Dinner Table: The Importance of Families Coming Together

May 08, 2019

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The presence of infinite streaming options, tablets, phones, and computers in the hands of children, the tradition of sitting down at the dinner table for a meal is slowly fading.

It may seem like a small thing, but family dinner is something that most people in history revered. If you're starting to see your family dinners scatter into different rooms, get consumed by Netflix, or fade away altogether, it could be a cause for concern.

We're going to discuss the value of sitting down at the dinner table, hopefully giving you the motivation to establish some regular family dining habits.

The Importance of Sitting Down for Family Dinner at the Dinner Table

We're not trying to send you back in time here. It's understandable that winding down with a streaming service or social media feed is something that helps to relax after a long day.

That relaxation might come at a huge cost, however, if it takes the place of sitting at the dinner table. The opportunity that family dinner provides is one that can significantly change a family dynamic for the better.

So, clear off your dining room table and spruce up the area a little. Whether you pick something from one of the best kitchen cabinet brands, get some new silverware, or just tidy up the room you have, try and revive your dinner table experience by making sure you have a comfortable place to dine!

Improved Communication

When you're sitting with your family, you have nothing to do but communicate. The absence of phones and screens forces people to look at one another and communicate.

The base-level benefit of this is that you have the opportunity to enjoy each other's company. Families are often pulled in a million different directions. School, work, friends, and more keep us from connecting with our families.

The dinner table offers up the invitation for everyone to speak with no interruptions. That's the baseline.

Beyond that, we can use this time to establish open lines of communication about issues, feelings, rules, and values. All too often, communication among families is stilted and individuals don't feel like they can talk to their parents or children about what's happening in their life.

Alternatively, you should work to make this time an opportunity for your family members to feel comfortable bringing up difficult topics about their lives. This establishes trust, helps to solve issues, and ultimately develops better relationships among the people of your family.

Healthier Lifestyle and Diet Habits

Participating in meal preparation and cooking is an excellent way for children to learn how to cook, which foods are nutritious, and how to establish the habits they will need for adulthood.

Diet is an extremely important piece of physical and mental health. Young adults today are often overworked and running on a poor diet for lack of meal-prep knowledge and skills. We now substitute unhealthy fast-food options for healthy, homemade meals.

If we work with children to develop a solid understanding of foods, how to cook them, and why it's important to do so, we can set them up for success when they leave home.

Further, establishing a routine of healthy meals at the dinner table has shown to lead to a healthier diet later in life.

It's also important to cook the meals ourselves. It's fine to slack here and there with a pre-portioned meal or pizza, but the bulk of family dinners should be cooked in the home. Doing this helps to establish a solid idea of healthy portions.

Fast food restaurants and other pre-portioned meal options typically give us larger meals with far more calories than are needed in our everyday lives. Hopefully, this will create a healthy relationship with food for you and your family.

Expanding Palettes and Cultural Understanding

You aren't going to want to cook the same thing night after night. You should take family dinners as an opportunity to explore foods from different cultures.

We all know (and maybe we are) the person that only likes to eat hot dogs and chicken fingers. Maybe they branch out here and there and try a new thing or two, but they rarely like anything that they deem unusual.

Surely, there's no real benefit to disliking foods that are different to you. It would be an advantage to go abroad, to different houses, or to unusual restaurants and enjoy whatever you order. At the very least, it's a good thing to try different foods.

These things are usually established in childhood. Kids don't like everything, and it's a task to get them to explore unusual foods. Making it a practice to try unusual dishes and foreign cuisines is a great way to open your family's eyes to what the world has to offer.

You could even make a point to discuss the culture from which the food comes from. This is a great way of opening up your family discussions as well as your family members' minds.

It Can Be a Great Time

The most important thing for you and your family is that you're spending quality time together. If you can learn to enjoy your family dinner and the people you eat with, you'll be able to strengthen your bonds.

Additionally, who needs an excuse to be happy around the ones they love? Even outside of the dining room, make time to be with your family and really try to understand them. Families are often separated, stilted, and facing emotional troubles that they have a hard time expressing.

You can greatly improve the mental and emotional relationships that you have with your loved ones by simply spending regular quality time with them.

Looking to Strengthen Your Family Values?

Sitting around the dinner table can help our children move on to become better people in the future. A large part of this is that the time we spend with children allows us to instill values in them.

Explore our site to find more opportunities to develop and instill values in your family life.