The recent article in Time magazine, The Magic of the Family Meal, makes a strong case for the importance of eating together. It is worth reading as the article references important research showing the value of sharing a meal as a family on a regular basis. In fact, the research shows that as the number of meals shared by families increases, the benefits increase. According to the article, "the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well in school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn big words and know which fork to use." Clearly, the meal is not just about the food - it is a valuable time to strengthen relationships, teach important social skills, educate, debate, increase self-esteem, share wisdom, and nurture each other. Wow, if there was a pill that offered to do all that, wouldn't you rush to get it? Fortunately, you don't need anything outside of yourself to give your family this gift.
Refer to my previous post, Which Night Is Your Sunday Dinner?, for further comments on this topic. Take advantage of this great opportunity to pass on important life and social skills to your family by committing to at least one night (preferably 3) where all members are expected to be present for dinner. You may also want to attend one of my upcoming cooking classes with your child to learn how everyone can be involved in the meal preparation. The benefits are well worth the investment.