The Importance of Family Dinner

The research is clear eating together has lasting effects. It’s a time of the day where families can come together, reconnect, and share stories about their day; it helps the whole family to develop unity and strong identity of their family and its values. It helps to lay the foundation for strong eating habits for children which will help them to carry those habits into adulthood, potentially helping to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and potentially cancer.

Research suggest that children who engage in family meals are:
• 35% less likely to engage in disordered eating
• 24% more likely to choose healthier foods
• 12% less likely to be overweight.
• Their diets also had higher amounts of many key nutrients, like calcium, iron, and fiber because they are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables and less soda and fried foods.

Recent studies have also linked regular family meals to many behavioural characteristics including; higher self-esteem, better grades, higher reading and vocabulary scores, lower rates of smoking, substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression. When children eat with their families on a regular basis, problems may be identified earlier rather than later.