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Family Dinners Are Significant

In: People

Submitted By galinabychkova1
Words 1686
Pages 7
Galina Bychkova
Professor Russell Hirsh
College Writing II
August 5, 2015

Family Dinners Are Significant

For those interested in improving their family’s interpersonal relationship and overall health, say, “goodbye” to take out food and “hello” to home-cooked family dinners. In this modern age and technologically advanced century, people rarely eat at home with their families. In America, many parents work long hours in which it becomes challenging for them to cook home- meals and eat together with their children. Therefore, many families resort to ordering takeout food. For many American families, it is hard to schedule family dinners for reasons that might be because sometimes parents work overtime, or children have some social activities. However, if members of a family put effort to gather for dinner, studies have shown its possible positive effects for family members. Many family meals give a family a chance to talk about happenings of the day, laugh, make family decisions, and enjoy the food in a tide in manner. Moreover, family dinners can help family members to learn about each other and build better interpersonal relationships. Regular family meals with family have been shown to lower a high-risk teenage behavior, such as sexual activity, drinking alcohol, smoking, marijuana use, eating disorders, violence, and school problems. In addition, family dinners have shown to decrease the risk of child obesity, improve a child’s social skills, and reduce behavioral issues in children. Although family dinners can be time consuming, inconvenient, and stressful, the American families should learn to implement at least three family dinners a week. Present-day people live hastened and busy lifestyles. Like bees, they “buzzing” on coffee accomplishing work as soon as possible. In that case, most parents work long hours that lead into late in the evening. Children also live busy lifestyles. Today, many kids spend their time with friends, attend social activities and extracurricular classes. To compensate, parents tend to buy unhealthy takeout food. Although restaurants and fast-food diners offer a glorious variety of exotic foods, the ingredients of the meal used are usually of poor quality and the food made in the quickest, cheapest way. The combination of cheap products and poor production make for unhealthy makeshift meals. Moreover, the restaurant food became popular because people can have good meals that are prepared in a short period. However, when unhealthy fast-food is regularly consumed, it may lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other physical illnesses. The enormous amount of high-cholesterol and fried foods impact children’s health, but ”Eating family meals may enhance the health and well-being of adolescents. The team reported in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine” (Squires,1 ). “Children who eat regular family dinners also consume more fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and micronutrients as well as fewer fried food and soft drinks” (Fishel,1). Without a doubt, homemade food and family dinner have many benefits for parents and their children. Children, who eat at home consume more healthy and nutritional food and eat less food containing large amounts of sugar, salt, and saturated fat. “And at least one study has found that family meals exert a protective effect on disordered eating, including a reduction of chronic dieting and binge eating” (Squires,1). Overall, eating at home is cheaper and healthier , and a choice for a happy and healthy family. Moreover, the family dinners can improve a child’s physical health, so too, it has been proven that it can also enhance their mental health and behavior. Although each family has a different ethnic and financial background, family dinners are usually the keys to learning and understanding family members. Often, family members share ideas, jokes, thoughts, and feelings with other family members. Eating at a family meal that create memories that will impact children’s behavior in the future—“Childhood memories often influence people’s opinion about the importance of family dinners.” (Tarkan, 2 ). Also, eating meals together gives parents the opportunity to monitor and control their children’s behavior and well-being, which may lower the violent risk behavior in teenagers. ” In one study of more than 5,000 Minnesota teens, researchers concluded that regular family dinners were associated with lower rates of depression and suicidal thought. ( Fishel,2 ). " Family meals have been found to be a more powerful deterrent against high-risk teen behaviors than church attendance or good grades” ( Fishel,2 ). Simple family meals build strong relationships between parents and teenagers. Around the table, teenagers have the chance to talk with parents about their interests and everyday problems. Mostly, family dinners become a habit and good ritual for children. Furthermore, the family table becomes the place where children build trust, could be themselves, and speak their mind. For many teenagers, family meals together with their family are crucial for their upbringing. Family dinner teaches children the importance of connecting with others. Everyday dinner conversation can improve and develop children’s vocabulary and comprehension. “Young kids learn 1,000 rare words at the dinner table, compared to only 143 from reading storybooks aloud.”(Fishel,1). Eating family dinner is a significant activity for developing children social skills and boost language developing. It is the crucial event than other family activities. When family gather around the table, the children have the chance telling story or share feeling regarding read books. Parents could be a speech therapist for their children. When the family eats together the parents, usually say an interested story for young children, for example, where food came from. For instance, parents could talk about how vegetables and fruits grow, raise, and how they get to the family table. “And those families that engage in extended discourse at the dinner table, like storytelling and explanations, rather than one –phrase comments, like” eat your vegetables”, had children with better language skills, said Dr. Catherine Snow, professor of education at Harvard and the researcher of the study ”(Tarkan,4). Moreover, family dinner could have positive effect on children's education. Children, who often eat dinner with family receive good grades in school. They are more educated by their parents, intelligent, and have good comprehension. Parents inspire their children to read more books, attend extracurricular activities. “When there is more than one adult at the table, it tend to make talk richer, topics are established by adult interest and can be extremely valuable opportunities for children to learn,” Dr. Snow said” (Tarkan,4). Although family dinners are usually a healthier choice for adults and children. Many people find family dinners are good time-consuming. The studies that prove family dinners are beneficial may not even valid. Two professors, Ann Meier and Kelly Musick noted that these studies stripped out significant factors; such as: “ the quality of family relationships, the degree to which parents monitored their kids, how they spent their time together and the availability of financial resources.” (Grown and Flown,2). The researchers concluded “ We found no direct, lasting effects of family dinners on mental health, drug, and alcohol use or delinquency " (Grown and Flown,2). They argue that they do not have time to cook and have no strength to make a meal after working long hours. “Americans moved in recent generations from cooking at home to eating out because they think they don’t have time to cook, says Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network”( Seaman ,2). That said, they then choose to buy take-out food as a quick makeshift meal. Also, many young parents cooking at home are stressful and take time. For some, it is easier to put a family into the car and drive to a restaurant, in contrast to making a meal. Other parents find it easy to grab frozen food from a store and heat it up when they come home. The busiest lifestyles the car replaces the family dinner table. “ Today, with 19% of meals in the US being eating in cars, we have come to depend on ready access food” (Seaman,2). Overall, the family meals rally the family members and make their relationships stronger and powerful. ” Being together daily at the table is important chance to celebrate being a family; by staying in touch, learning about the family culture, food and practicing the social skills of dining and conversation. Family meals are for nourishment, comfort and support “(Seaman,3). From my personal experience, I can see that weekly family dinners make my family’s relationships stronger and more meaningful. The during the week we have different schedules that make it difficult to gather for a meal, but we manage to sit down every Friday night , during the Sabbath and spend time together eating a meal. Once the Sabbath begins, all kind of work stops, hence giving my family a chance to eat and relax together. We share our feelings and impressions which we gather during the week. Essentially, studies have shown that family dinners are beneficial in many ways and as a mother I would recommend them.

Works Cited.
Fishel, Anne "The most important thing you can do with your kids? Eat ..." Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Aug. 2015 <>.

Seaman, Lindsay "Why Eating Family Meals Together is Still Important Today ..." Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Aug. 2015 <>.
Squires, Sally "Sally Squires - To Eat Better, Eat Together." Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Aug. 2015 < dyn/content/article/2005/03/24/AR2005032400637.>.
Tarkan, Laurie "Benefits of the Dinner Table Ritual - The New York Times." Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Aug. 2015 <>.
Web "Why We Don't Need Family Dinners - Grown and Flown." Insert Name of Site in Italics. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Aug. 2015 <>.

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