The Importance of Eating Meals Together as a Family

strengthening family relationships

The importance of eating meals together as a family is statistically proven to have a positive influence on families—especially on the children. Yet, how many of us, as parents, struggle to make family mealtime happen on a regular basis. With all the demands on our time, making dinnertime more meaningful feels can often feel like one more thing on our already very full plate. But here's why we should re-prioritize, if necessary, to make family mealtime happen.

Share the Table because meals together are so important

13 Statistics That Prove the Importance of Eating Meals Together as Family

According to Barilla's "Share The Table" program and research from which this information is gathered:

Preparing and eating food together is one of the most basic human pleasures, and the dinner table has always been a a perfect place to relax and reconnect.

Here are 13 benefits from the "Share The Table" white paper to prove the importance of eating meals together as a family. Barilla Share the Table because meal time is vital

  1. People who eat dinner together more frequently (at least five times a week) are more likely than people who eat together less frequently to be satisfied with every aspect of their lives.
  2. People who have fewer distractions (such as TV and cell phones) during family meals are also more satisfied with every aspect of their lives.
  3. 98% of parents rank mealtime as the most important opportunity to connect with their children.
  4. 92% of Americans agree that they feel more connected to what is going on in their family's life when they share a meal together.
  5. 93% of Americans ranked sharing meals as the most important activity above all others (including family vacations, playing together and attending religious services) in helping them to regularly connect with their families.
  6. 75% of Americans say that getting the whole family easting together more often is important.
  7. 82% of parents feel closer to their kids and 72% of kids feel closer to their parents when they
    have dinner together.
  8. 78% of parents say they feel closer to their spouse when they have a family dinner
  9. 71% of parents say they feel more appreciated by their children when they take time to have
    dinner together.
  10. 70% of kids, in turn, actually do appreciate their parent(s) more when they take time to share a
    meal together.
  11. 65% of parents report that they and their spouse generally feel less stressed when they eat
    dinner together as a family.
  12. 61% of kids agree that their parents are more relaxed and fun to be around when they have
    dinner together.
  13. This study and the previous “Share the Table” study, along with other research in the public domain,
    have shown that kids who sit down regularly to family dinners have better school grades, are better off
    psychologically, have better nutrition, don’t smoke as much or do drugs, and are less sexually active as
    teens.

If you're looking for fun family mealtime ideas, look no further. We have you covered. Simply click here to access 10 family mealtime ideas that will lead to dinnertime fun!

The importance of eating meals together as a family is proven to be critical in many areas for both families and kids. What tips do you have for getting the family around the dinner table together?

Disclosure: Barilla sponsored the Family Forward retreat. This content comes from the literature they shared at that event in addition to statistics on their ShareTheTable.com website and in their white paper.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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