Somewhere between the daunting daily grind for dollar signs, the strong, gripping bind with technological devices, the magnetically drawn glued eyes to the boob tube, and the social media time warp trap among other things, we’ve managed to lose sight of what’s most important- eating a meal together as a family. Since we are creatures of habit and like to stick to routine eating a meal away from the table has become quite the norm. The ability to sit down together as a family and enjoy a meal has become quite the chore in the average American household. It has more or less vanished and become a thing of the past in society today. With the convenience of fast food, the ever-popular TV dinner, or the duty calls downfall of a work-aholic, it’s no wonder sharing a meal as a family has become nearly extinct.
Clearly, 24 hours in a day isn’t enough to conquer everything on our plate, but it shouldn’t ever prevent us from sharing our plates together either! When we miss out on this essential event regularly, our ties can loosen and our foundation can crumble resulting in a less than perfect family unit. This is an earnest mistake we are all guilty of, but don’t just take our word for it.
According to Spark People, an online article emporium, “The Family who eats together stays together (The Benefits of Eating Together…”). Here are eight reasons why:
1.) Communication is the key in any relationship and the ability to sit down and share, reflect, connect- what have you- helps us strengthen the bond that a family should encompass. Additionally, spending this time together fosters a growing love and sense of belonging that each family member is entitled to.
2.) Appropriate mannerisms, table etiquette, and social skills are all established and refined through eating together.
3.) Expanding your taste buds by encouraging your children to try new things will in the long run make them more open minded to stepping out of their comfort zone!
4.) Meals that have been prepared at home are more nutritionally based than those not. The food pyramid becomes more prevalent and utilized in the home and strays away from the countless calories, high fat, sugar-loaded foods that do more harm than good for our bodies.
5.) Becoming self sufficient and independent is a crucial part of growing up for a child. Learning how to prepare meals, cook, clean etc. leads to a more independent and responsible child who can take those skills as they become a teenager and then an adult.
6.) Eating together at least 5-6 times a week can prevent harmful and destructive behaviors like smoking, drinking, and illegal drug use so often seen in pre-teens and teenagers. When schedules become even more complicated eating together helps to maintain the growth a family needs to be successful.
7.) Young children and teenagers academic performance is shown to be much higher in those families that eat together at least four times a week than those who only eat together a mere one to two times a week.
8.) Eating out can be costly- two to four more times than those meals prepared at home, in fact.
With these cases in point, it is now more important than ever to bring the family back to the kitchen table. After all, sharing time at the dinner time can help each member find their own unique identity, alleviate day-to-day conflicts and hiccups, and build everlasting traditions and memories for years to come! So, let the dinner bell override the ringtone, the fine china replace the plastic bag, a home-cooked meal substitute an overpriced take out.
Spending this time together as a family is a crucial component to establishing a strong, unbreakable bond, and while taking the time to prepare the meal may too facilitate a deeper relationship it isn’t always realistic. Between afternoon sports activities and enough errands to make you insane, making and preparing a meal may be the last thing you are thinking about. That’s where Y.Lo comes into play! We offer meal plans for two or more people straight from our menu, or your own customized, that come ready to be devoured after simply being reheated. So, while making a home-cooked meal may not always be feasible, sharing a meal together as a family can be as easy as a phone call to your favorite caterer.