How Family Dinners Help Kids
Texas Christian University in Fort Worth has found that kids who dine with their parents every week day are more well-adjusted than those who do not eat at home during the evening, according to Ann Von Berber, who teaches nutrition science. Recently, Columbia University also did a study that indicates that there is less drug and alcohol abuse among children who regularly eat at home, as opposed to children whose meal times at home are haphazard or non-existent.
How Relaxed Meals Help Couples and Singles
The benefits of sharing a quiet meal together extend to couples without children, and even a quiet meal alone can be a stress-reliever for single people.
Loren Ekroth, PhD, a former family therapist from Las Vegas who is the founder of Conversation-Matters.com says “It’s not only better for the soul and spirit to dine quietly and slowly — even if you’re alone — but it’s also good for the digestion.”
Pleasant and light dinner conversation is the sine qua non for bonding with your spouse and children. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that meal time is the right time to air grievances or hand out judgments and punishments. Even if you only see other family members at dinner time, refrain from making that time stressful or unpleasant. Save the bad news and the complaints for another time. Make an appointment if you have to. Remember, food is getting more and more expensive – so why let it go to waste when you can’t eat it during an argument at the table.
Van Berber suggests a few rules of thumb to keep the groaning board from becoming the moaning board.
Be positive. Listen more than talk. Chew each bite 44 times. Start things off with a joke – even a knock-knock joke can bring a smile and better digestion. Remember what Winston Churchill said: It costs nothing to be polite.