Regular family meals provide comfort. Knowing the whole family will sit down to eat dinner (or breakfast) together at approximately the same time every day can be very comforting for kids and enhance appetite.
Family meals offer opportunity to catch up on your kids’ daily lives. Gathering the family around a table for a meal is an ideal opportunity to talk and listen to your kids without the distraction of TV, phones, or computers.
Social interaction is vital for your child. The simple act of talking to a parent over the dinner table about how they feel can play a big role in relieving stress and boosting your child’s mood and self-esteem. And it gives you chance to identify problems in your child’s life and deal with them early.
Mealtimes enable you to “teach by example.” Eating together lets your kids see you eating healthy food while keeping your portions in check and limiting junk food.Refrain from obsessive calorie counting or commenting on your own weight, though, so that your kids don’t adopt negative associations with food.
Mealtimes let you monitor your kids’ eating habits. This can be important for older kids and teens who spend a lot of time eating at school or friends’ houses. If your teen’s choices are less than ideal, the best way to make changes is to emphasize short-term consequences of a poor diet, such as physical appearance or athletic ability. These are more important to teens than long-term health. For example, “Calcium will help you grow taller.”“Iron will help you do better on tests.”