The most important thing you can do with your kids? Eat dinner with them.
After 20 years of research in North America, Europe and Australia, researchers and therapists determine what your Mama always knew. Here are the benefits.
Sitting down together at the dinner table builds a family strong. It turns out that sitting down for a nightly meal is great for the brain, the body and the spirit. Don't worry about the caliber of the meal, anything will do. It's the time exchanging thoughts, highlights of the day and talking about friends that bonds everyone.
Here are other findings.According to The Washington Post, researchers found that for young children, dinnertime conversation boosts vocabulary even more than being read aloud to.
Children who eat regular family dinners also consume more fruits, vegetables, vitamins and micro-nutrients, as well as fewer fried foods and soft drinks. And the nutritional benefits keep paying dividends even after kids grow up.
Family dinners with lowering a host of high risk teenage behaviors parents fear: smoking, binge drinking, marijuana use, violence, school problems, eating disorders and sexual activity.
Dinner may be the one time of the day when a parent and child can share a positive experience – a well-cooked meal, a joke, or a story – and these small moments can gain momentum to create stronger connections away from the table.
Go ahead, cut out some time and do it. It's never too late to start a new tradition and help your family stay strong.