Between working full-time, picking up your kids from their activities and juggling all of the other tasks that come with parenthood, we understand that it can be time-consuming and difficult to plan, shop, prepare, cook and clean up a homemade and healthy meal for your family each night. Dining out or opting for delivery may seem like a more convenient option, but did you know it could have negative effects on your family’s health and development?
What if we were to tell you that eating home-cooked meals with your family five nights a week not only could benefit your kids, but can have a positive effect on you, as well? Studies show that when a family eats together on a regular basis, it can have a profound effect on every member of the family. Today, Dream Dinners franchise reviews three reasons why you should enjoy homemade meals with your family on a regular basis.
Consuming meals as a family can enhance your children’s nutritional intake. According to a study conducted by Harvard University, children who eat five meals a week with their family have healthier eating habits – eating more fruits and vegetables – than those who didn’t. These children also made healthier food choices when they ate outside of the home. Similarly, eating regular family meals has been linked to lower obesity rates in children along with healthier relationships with food – habits that can have a positive long-term effects for a child. Kids who ate dinner with their families five or more nights a week were also less likely to partake in risky behaviors like smoking cigarettes, marijuana and consuming alcohol and were more likely to excel in school and get higher grades.
The average American family spends more than 40 percent of their monthly food budget on dining out yet dining out only accounts for 30 percent of their meals. What causes this discrepancy? Food prices tend to be higher when eating at a restaurant or opting for delivery because you’ll also pay for service charges. When eating a meal at home, the average per-person cost of a meal is about $4.50, but when a family ventures outside of the home for a meal this prices spikes to $8. Just by enjoying regular family meals, you will not only have the opportunity to bond with your family, but you’ll also be able to cut your food costs nearly in half.
Consuming meals together with your family can act as a natural stress-reliever for parents. In fact, a study from Brigham Young University found when mothers sat down with their families for a meal, they actually were able to reduce their stress levels. When eating together, family members are able to talk about their days and discuss real-world issues in an open environment – allowing everyone to vent for just a few minutes. Not only will this help mothers and fathers feel less stressed, but they’ll also be able to learn more about their children’s lives in an engaging environment– causing children feel comfortable talking with their parents openly. This can have a positive effect on the parent-child relationship and will remind each family member of the importance of family.
By spreading the knowledge of the power of eating regular meals as a family, Dream Dinners franchisees have the power to create a happier and healthier future for our children. If you liked this article, then read our previous post to learn 10 surprising facts about childhood eating habits.