We live in a “right now” society. We’ve become accustomed to almost instantaneous delivery and stimulation from our entertainment to our food. This has led to so many breakdowns, and to us missing out on some areas in our lives.
My family is a busy family of five. Every single one of us is involved in something, and certain times during the year we literally have something to do every single night, even Sundays! This has made it increasingly difficult to slow down and enjoy time together, especially meal time.
Through our busy lifestyles and connecting with other families who also have similar busy lifestyles, I have learned this is more common than not. Family meals and eating together is not what it used to be.
Today, eating together is eating on the go.
Today, eating together as a family may start in the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant. Eating together as a family may mean grabbing a cereal bar as you head out the door to school and work. Eating together as a family may be sitting in front of the television with microwave meals.
For others eating together as a family may be non-existent, which is a problem.
We have done our best to go against the grain and eat together as a family daily, and not in the car or in front of the TV, but at our dinner table. It’s a challenge to make it happen, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges.
Here are 5 reasons to eat together as a family, at your dinner table.
- You eat healthier meals. Eating together as a family at home typically means more home prepared and cooked meals. My wife prepares meals at home daily. Eating out for our kids is a treat, not the norm, so we know what foods are going into their bodies.
- You save money. It costs at least $30 for our family to eat out, and that isn’t even a sit-down restaurant. Sit-down restaurants cost us about $50 for our family. If we eat out five days per week, we are looking at $250/week just for that one daily meal. By eating together as a family at home, our grocery bill ends up being around $800/month. That’s a huge savings!
- You build better family relationships. It goes down at our dinner table. I mean everything. Homeschooling, work, business ideas and projects get launched, and everything else. Our dinner table is our hub. But, there is something special that happens when we sit down to enjoy a meal together. We get to talk about our day, we get to voice our concerns, we get to enjoy funny stories, we pray together, and of course we eat good food. We are going in many different directions all day, but we come together around our dinner table and our bonds are stronger because of it.
- You control the content. Turn the TV on for five minutes and you’ve allowed the messages of other people who have their own agendas enter into your household. When we eat together as a family at our dinner table we control the content. The content is age appropriate for all of our kids, it is engaging, and it is beneficial to them. There are so many messages bombarding us each day, the dinner table can be the time you create the content your family needs most.
- You have less stress. Studies have shown that eating with your family results in less stress for working moms, than those moms who do not eat as a family as much. Teens were also less likely to show symptoms of depression.
If you aren’t eating together as a family at home, I encourage you to consider the benefits and how they will impact your family. If it’s hard, try easing into it. You won’t be disappointed.
Devin Dabney says
We have made it a strong priority to eat our meals together. Since I leave for work before most of the family is awake during the week, I miss breakfast with them, but my wife and kids eat breakfast and lunch together every day.
Every night, we eat dinner together and television is not allowed. In the last couple of months, our church has been going through a devotional book called “Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God” and we read it and the related bible passages each week night. Our Sunday morning routine involves eating a nice breakfast together and that gets us off to a great start.
It is a challenge at times to keep everyone at the table, but I am glad that my wife encouraged this habit from the beginning of our marriage. We are building relationships and hopefully capturing their hearts.
Adam Smith says
Great reminder here, Jackie. Such a big deal. If we are home, we do dinner at the table. It’s a challenge, but it’s the one time all of us can sit and connect.
Mathew Young says
Very applicable post! Another benefit in my opinion is the consistency it creates. Who knows what security is created in a child subconsciously by seeing his or her family together at the table each night or most nights of the week? Thanks. I will be subscribing.