Why families should eat supper together

There are a few good reasons that people say, “Dinner is better when we eat together” – not only does sharing a meal together as a family encourage bonding, but it has also been shown to help establish healthy eating behaviour in kids and leads them to making better choices related to food and eating.

When you’re already so busy, it can be difficult to find the time to sit down for supper every day so keep in mind that sharing breakfast – even if it’s just a bowl of cereal – is just as beneficial.

Family connection

Sitting down to a meal together helps to improve the relationship between parents and their children, encouraging open lines of communication. Studies have also shown that older kids who regularly sat down to share meals with their parents had fewer behavioural problems.

Better language skills

It makes sense that children who are exposed to more conversations would show better language development – and that’s what happens when babies and kids in the toddler years are regularly exposed to conversation around the dinner table. Your little one is never too young to join you in sitting at the table for family dinner, even if they haven’t started solids yet.

Good choices

Children adopt eating habits from their parents so think of sitting down for a meal as an opportunity to model healthy eating behaviours to the younger members of the family. In a study, children and teens who ate dinner with their families tended to eat more fruit and veg than those who didn’t and were less likely to struggle with disordered eating or obesity later in life. Homecooked meals are also generally more nutritious than takeaways, and batch cooking is a good way to manage the cost of family meals.

Teach kids to listen to their body

You may want to consider implementing a “no phones or tech at the dinner table” rule. Having tech-free meals will make it easier for everyone to tune into their body’s natural ‘full’ cues and teaches younger members of the family to do the same. So, sit down, slow down, eat mindfully and savour your food together!

Teach responsibility

Family bonding doesn’t just happen during the meal – cooking or doing the dishes offer another opportunity for family connection. And giving younger kids small tasks, like rinsing vegetables, teaches them from an early age that everyone in the family has an important role to play.