One of the great tragedies of modern-day hustle culture is the loss of family dinners around the table. For many today, dinner is simply something you eat in the evening, whether on the go or in front of the television—and it’s usually squeezed between work schedules, commutes, meetings, after-school activities, and homework. Sometimes it comes from a drive-through window or is reheated in the microwave, and rarely does it occur for each member of the family at the same time.
However, there are some families that have managed to prioritize eating dinner together, recognizing the many benefits of doing so. Even if schedules allow a sit-down dinner only once or twice each week, the value in making that happen consistently is worth considering.
Perhaps the most important reason to consider prioritizing family dinner together is the deepened connection it fosters among family members. When family mealtime becomes a habit, conversations flow and ideas and feelings are shared.
Setting aside distractions from the many obligations of life, along with the distraction of digital devices, while partaking in the experience of a simple meal together exemplifies where the proper priorities lie. The blessings of life are on full display to be appreciated, and the sense of belonging to one’s family is enhanced by this simple ritual.
Meals prepared at home tend to be much healthier than the typical meals quickly purchased for convenience. The potential to involve each member of the family in the meal’s preparation can reinforce lessons about good nutrition and flavorful cooking.
According to The Family Dinner Project, shared mealtime has been found to promote better health by lowering the risks of depression, obesity, and eating disorders while improving cardiovascular health and overall eating habits.
Sitting down together as a family regularly and consistently creates a comforting, dependable rhythm to life that everyone can look forward to and rely on. Knowing that your family members value spending time together is a wonderful gift for parents and children alike and strengthens family bonds. This regular activity becomes something to look forward to and acts as a signpost in the day or week.
Further, family dinner together becomes a tradition that every member of the family values. The memories made around the dinner table may easily become some of the most treasured. The benefits of the practice may very well be passed on to future generations.
So, if you’re looking for something to quell anxieties, improve your family’s health, and strengthen family bonds, simply sit down to dinner together.