Families are diverse, and so are their eating habits. While one family may say grace at the dinner table, another may pack a picnic to take to the soccer field, and yet another may eat in shifts as people arrive home.
Furthermore, depending on the time of night, the same family may employ a variety of approaches. Our faith in the “magic” of family dinners stems from research on the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of regular family meals.
Over three decades of research have demonstrated that regular family meals provide numerous physical, social-emotional, and academic benefits. While some of these advantages can be obtained through other activities, eating together is the only single activity known to provide all of them at the same time.
What Exactly Is Family-Style Dining?
Serving a meal family-style means that instead of plating each person’s food, you place it on the table in passable bowls and invite everyone to help themselves.
Family-style dinner is an excellent way to allow children to serve themselves. Other advantages of family-style meal service
We recommend combining food, fun, and conversation at mealtimes because those three ingredients are the recipe for a warm, positive family dinner — the kind of environment that allows for these scientifically proven benefits.
5 Reasons For Trying Family-Style Dining
1. It provides an opportunity to teach children about sharing and good manners.
2. It’s an excellent way to teach children about making healthy food choices.
3. It promotes independence and self-esteem in children.
4. It helps to improve motor skills and coordination.
5. It teaches children to recognise hunger cues and to recognise when they are full.
What Advantages Do Children Gain?
- Pouring, scooping, and serving are examples of fine motor and coordination skills that can be practised.
- By learning to regulate portion sizes based on their own hunger and fullness cues.
- By learning to share, take turns, and socialise, they will gain self-confidence and self-esteem because they will be in control. Children are given the opportunity to make their own decisions.
- By having a good time setting the table,getting the food ready and cleaning up.
Allowing children to assist themselves does not preclude caregivers from guiding them. Encourage children to sample all of the foods served, but limit them to one serving at a time. Make certain that the children understand that there is enough food for them to have seconds later. This may encourage them to eat smaller portions the first time.
Some Of The Specific Advantages Of Family Dinners Include:
- Improved academic performance
- Increased self-esteem
- Enhanced sense of resilience
- The Reduced likelihood of substance abuse
- The Reduced risk of adolescent pregnancy
- Reduced risk of depression
- Reduced risk of developing eating disorders
- Obesity rates are lower.
- Teens have better cardiovascular health.
- Preschoolers have a larger vocabulary.
- Young adults with healthier eating habits
Family dining styles, like parenting, are a matter of personal preference and taste. I don’t believe in absolutes, and I still serve pre-plated meals to my children on occasion. The most important thing for me is to spend quality time with my family and talk about our day, whether I serve pre-plated or family-style meals.