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Veronica's Random Dose - The Importance Of The Family Meal.

Updated on January 18, 2010

The Family Table Should Have A Great Set Of Dinnerware....

It is truly a rare occasion; an oddity or antiquated notion for many; to witness families today sitting down at the dinner table and sharing a meal together.

Excluding special occasions, family meals are becoming extinct and obsolete in this day and age. What's behind this phenomenon?

* They Keep Going, And Going, And Going...

In short, longer hours at work, conflicting schedules, life's hectic pace, and an itinerary overflowing with daily commitments and activities, have encouraged eating on the run, hastily prepared meals, and a rise in fast-food consumption or as some food establishments would have it - "good food fast."

It's due to this persistent on the go lifestyle, that push families down the path of eating separately or all alone for that matter.

* What's So Great About Eating Together As A Family Anyway?

Good question. Here's what the experts have to say on this subject:

The U.S. National Center On Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that children who take in meals with their family about five times a week, have fewer problems associated with anxiety, lack of interest, or boredom, and tend to get better grades in school.

In her book, The Surprising Power of Family Meals, Miriam Weinsten explained that the dinner table is "an obvious place for kids to get regular access to parental presence and low-key attention," and that sharing family meals can become "a bulwark against the pressures we all face (each) and every day."

The benefits don't end there. As well as providing emotional and mental stability and stimulation, eating a meal together as a family has been said to help discourage bad eating habits. How so?

Well, the University of Navarre in Spain reported that eating alone increases ones risk of suffering from eating disorders. Realistically, while these types of disorders could still develop, the absence of regular shared meals makes this more likely to occur.

* It's Just A Meal - What's The Big Deal?

Many may still conclude that family meals are simply a way to obtain nourishment for one's body; no more, no less.

On the contrary though, *undisturbed meal times with the family benefits all by helping each individual learn how to: 1.) hold meaningful conversations, 2.) listen respectfully, 3.) express themselves with ease, 4.) work as a team - especially is this so when it comes time to set and clear the table, clean up after the meal, serve others, and depending on their age; prepping and preparing the meals, 5.) eat healthy meals at regular times, and 6.) display good manners.

Sitting down and sharing a family meal may seem outdated to some. Nevertheless, it's a great opportunity to create strong bonds, make beautiful memories, and share each others goals and aspirations.

The book, The Surprising Power Of Family Meals puts it nicely, "Family supper may not be a panacea (a remedy for all ills), but it sure looks like a relatively painless fix."

copywrite © 2009

(*undisturbed meal times mean meal times that are free from television, phone, and all electronics, giving your family your undivided attention)

Do You Have Family Meals Together?

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    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      H.C. Porter - My sentiments exactly - thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback.

    • H.C Porter profile image

      Holly 8 years ago from Lone Star State

      If more families sat down for diner-families would have more of an idea of the interests and talents each person possessed, and could show support. In return-have more successful people in this world...

      nice hub

      hc porter

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks habee for stopping by - It's so true, something that we may take for granted - like eating a meal with our family - is far more important than we may realize.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      This is so important for families! I wrote an article about this a couple of years ago for another site. Great read!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      I think it does depend a lot on your situatuion Hendrika. I know in my situation, we I have dinner with my girls, but it's a rare occassion to have it with my husband as well since he works and comes home late after we've already eaten. What we do try to do though, is sit and converse with him while he's eating his dinner. I think it's good though that when your kids were still small, you did get to experience family time around the supper table. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting - I always look forward to your feedback - you always add depth to your feedback.

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      How interesting. I must admit it very rarely happen in our home these days as it is only my husband, my sister in law ans me. When the kids were still small, TV was not yet very big in South Africa so we had at least supper together every evening. Not because of any reason other that there was nothing else to do!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you creativeone59 and Hello, hello for stopping by. It can be easy to get so busy that we tend to eat on the go and not at the family table with our families. This is just a reminder for all of us (myself included) to take the time out and connect with each other.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      I so agree with and I miss it but somehow it just happened in this house Thank you for your hub.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank Veronica for a hub that keeps the family together at dinner time, it's important. thank you for sharing. godspeed. creativeone59