Can Family Meal Time Make Your Kids Smarter?


Can Family Meal Time Makes Your Kids Smarter?

Who knew sharing meals could be so important?  If you come from a home were a regular family mealtime was the norm, than you probably realized how important it was.  However with today’s crazy schedules and emphasis on individual activities, respecting the family meal time seems to be going out the window.  But there are a number of good reasons why having regular family meals time can make yours a happier, healthier and smarter family.  Here are a few reasons why eating together as a family is so important.

  1. Conversation time – Meals are a great way to get chatting.  You don’t have to discuss big topics – just simply talking about your day, telling stories can be enough to help your family stay connected.  After all with family members often off doing many different activities – from work, sports, clubs and school it can be hard to remember what exactly your family is up to.  But by reconnecting over meal time you’re more likely to remember that your son is studying the Civil War and your daughter is up World War I.
  2. Share the Cooking – Getting other family members to help prepare the meal is an important step to enjoying eating together – otherwise your children will come to think of family meal times like restaurant meals – and you as a short order cook.  Having them help prepare the meal will get kids invested in eating it – even if it’s not what they “wanted”.  And since preparing a meal usually takes longer than the eating of it, this will extend the family talk time.  Work on getting even the youngest of kids involved – they can set the table or help make the salad.
  3. Make It Happen – Making meal time a regular event by having it at the same time each day means that it becomes a family event – and not to be missed.  It will also help discourage snacking too close to dinner.  If you can’t have a daily mealtime, then shoot for a set family dinner a couple of times a week – perhaps Friday and Sunday – that can’t be missed.
  4. Eating Together Makes Your Kids Smarter (and you) – Children who share meals with their family have been shown to do better in school. Part of the reason they do better is because the food they’re served is more nutritious than restaurant meals.  And the “intelligent conversation” about school helps reinforce their learning and also allows them a chance to talk about any other school-related problems – friend issues, bullying in a low-key neutral setting.  Sharing meals together can cut down on the chances that your child will become involved with drugs or alcohol. When teens get involved in things they shouldn’t, it’s usually because they’re trying to get their parents’ attention. Children who eat meals with their family already have the attention they desire.

Planning family mealtime shouldn’t stress you out as a mom – after all the point is to strengthen the family, not drive you over the edge!   You can gain the benefits of family mealtime – more family-time even if you start small – once a week.  Just remember that changing the family routine – even for the better – can take some getting used to.

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