Hey everyone! As you may know, my wife and I were blessed with five children. With the busy, fast-paced world we live in today, you can imagine what it’s like to manage and coordinate five schedules! Even so, my wife and I always reserve time where all seven of us come together, share a meal, and talk about our day. This article talks about just some of the benefits, I can guarantee you there are so much more! -Dr. Craig
While the nutritional aspects of sharing a family meal are significant, there are many other benefits that members of a family experience when they regularly and mindfully share meals together.
A short documentary, The Family Meal, details some of these benefits with examples, interviews, and case studies of families who are benefiting from making a concerted effort to sit down together for a meal they prepare. The film is embedded on the Mercola site, and an accompanying article describes some of the varied positives from this practice.
While nutrition is key, other positive outcomes from shared meals include emotional health, preserving traditional foodways, teaching and learning food preparation techniques, strengthening relationships, increased empathy and self-esteem, and planning meals to maximize grocery dollars through seasonal eating and discovering healthful but lower-cost cuts of meat.
Research seems to indicate that after several decades of low incidence of family meal sharing, the trend seems to be on the rise for families to make shared meals a priority. Groups of friends who may be single, divorced, or living away from their families are also engaging in the practice of gathering regularly to share food they prepare and enjoy together.
The shared practice of paying attention to one’s nourishment builds bonds in any relationship. Even if starting with a once- or twice-a-month practice, with a goal toward increasing the regularity, can significantly affect how a family or a group of friends prioritizes and makes time for their shared nutrition and emotional well-being.
How does your family handle meals? What small shifts may affect the possibility of sharing more meals together?