Today’s modern family has a lot going on. Kids of all ages are taking part in after school sports and clubs and more mothers are working than ever before. Dinner around one table, at the same, all together, may seem like a distant memory. It’s more likely that Jimmy has soccer until 5, Susie has gymnastics until 4, Mom and Dad are working until 6, and Grandma and Grandpa suddenly find themselves having a new career as chauffeurs in their retirement. Everyone is running on protein bars or fast food at various times. While it’s no doubt that scheduling a sit-down family meal together is not the easiest task, it can have huge benefits for children – and the family unit.
It may surprise you that family meals benefit children in many ways – from educational, to health, to social and behavioral benefits.
There are a few key things you can do and steps you can take to make sure that family meals are enjoyable and engaging for everyone at the table.
Eating meals together as a family benefits everyone. Children develop educational, health, social and behavioral skills from these positive interactions, not to mention everyone generally feels closer and happier. Getting the kids involved in planning and prepping, then talking together – undistracted – at the dinner table are simple ways to start feeling the benefits of this age-old tradition. How will you make this a priority for your family?
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By Liz Kelly, Social Media Specialist, SMART Couples, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, University of FloridaReferences
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