I have been hearing about how important it is for families to take the time everyday to sit down and eat together.  So I thought I would look for some research to support everything I had been hearing.  I found this article that I thought was interesting.  The URL is http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2012/01/06/the-importance-of-family-dinner/

About the Study
Family mealtime has drastically decreased since the 1950’s. Although you may not initially see the connection, family meals play a huge role in your kids’ lives. Yes, it’s important to eat together in order to sit down and catch up on the day, but there’s more to it. The study called The Importance of Family Dinners VI dug deep to see if there was a connection between the frequency of family meals and teen substance abuse. It also explored what teens thought about the concept of family dinners. The results will shock you.

Findings
Compared to teens who eat family dinners 5 to 7 days per week, those who only eat family dinners fewer than 3 per week are:
Nearly twice as likely to use alcohol
Twice as likely to use tobacco
One and a half times more likely to use marijuana

Even scarier is that these teens say they can get their hands on marijuana or prescription drugs in an hour or less!

The study reveals that it’s not the food that’s served during dinner but rather the conversation. Three in four teens reported that they talk about what’s going on in their lives during dinner. The teens interviewed agreed that when they talk to their parents about their daily events, they’re less likely to smoke, drink and use marijuana.

Family Ties
Dinner is a family ritual that kids look forward to. It gives parents the opportunity to model good behavior and encourage their kids in their daily tasks. It also helps create strong bonds within in the family. Teens that frequently eat family dinners are almost three times as likely to say they have an excellent relationship with their mom and three times likelier to say they have an excellent relationship with their dad. One study also found that teen girls who eat family meals regularly had better body images.

Family Day
In 2001 CASA (The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse) created Family Day—A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children. It’s celebrated on the fourth Monday in September and serves as a reminder to the importance of family dinners.

Conversation Starters
Lost for words at dinner? Here are a few suggested ice breakers.

Daily:
Name one high point and one low point in your day.
What’s one nice thing you did for someone else today?
What’s the first thing you thought about this morning?
What’s one thing you’re looking forward to tomorrow?

Weekly:
Name 5 healthy things you ate this week.
What is one thing you’ve done this week to protect the environment?
Which was your favorite family dinner this week?
Say one nice thing about the person sitting to your left.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s