I’ve noticed that most movies include at least one scene where friends or family members sit down together for a meal. I suppose it is a plot device of sorts. When family members in a movie are in one place, at one time, conversation can move forward more efficiently. — What is true in the movies is true in real life, meals together facilitate family life.
1. Stronger Family Relationships
When families sit down for a meal, at the dinner table or in a restaurant, a sense of togetherness starts to emerge. Humans were created to do life together. We are at our best when we are in community. When you pass the mashed potatoes to the person on your right, you are not just passing food, you are sending the message, “We are one, even if we fight sometimes we belong together.” Families that eat together are stronger, and each individual is stronger, too.
2. Healthier Foods Consumed
Although families can still enjoy a meat-lovers pizza from Luigi’s down the street from time to time, or splurge on triple-decker cheeseburgers from the backyard grill, research shows that families that eat together tend toward healthier food. Healthy food triggers all types of benefits: better grades for school-aged children, higher self-esteem in adults, and more. So, eat together, eat health(ier) 😉 and enjoy the benefits.
3. Lower Stress
Working adults who take the time to eat with their families self-report lower levels of stress. I see eating together as a kind of mini-vacation. People tend to think and talk about life outside of work. — I often remind my career driven, type-A clients, that the time they spend with family, they get back in productivity at work. … So, eating together with your family is good for business!
4. Save Money
Eating at home does require a time commitment, but preparing food at home is much cheaper than eating in a restaurant or doing takeout. Bonus: You can have your kids help you in the kitchen. It is a great way to bond with small kids, and you might be surprised how much older kids enjoy it, too.
Blessings and enjoy your family wherever you are together!
By Russell Holloway
Russell is Founder and Executive Director of Open Doors Counseling Network, which operates Port Orange Counseling Center, Ormond Beach Counseling Center and Daytona Beach Counseling Center. He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida, a National Certified Counselor and Certified Sex Therapist. Russell is a decorated combat veteran and enjoys working with veterans, first responders, and pilots. He is passionate about helping people rescue and empower their important relationships.