Sitting down to share family dinner isn’t just good for physical health, it’s good for mental health.
More than two decades of research show that kids who eat with their families do better in school and have bigger vocabularies. They also have lower rates of depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, as well as healthier diets and better cardiovascular health. But it’s not just good news for kids. The data shows that across the lifespan, shared meals are associated with healthier eating and better mood. Science has even shown that when unrelated adults, like firefighters, cook and eat together they show enhanced team performance.
When kids are present at mealtime, parents may eat more healthily, perhaps to model good behavior and provide the best nourishment they can to their kids. In addition, parents who regularly dined with their kids reported higher levels of family functioning, greater self-esteem and lower levels of depressive symptoms and stress. (PopSci)