How often do you get your loved ones together to share a family dinner? Our families play a critical role in building up social ties and creating communities of sharing.
However, the reality of today’s households is that slightly more than half of American families gather around the dinner table to share in a delicious meal and enjoy each other’s company. It’s this situation that drives the Dream Dinners franchise mission.
In fact, 53 percent of U.S. families with children under 18 said they ate together between six and seven nights per week, according to data from a 2013 Gallup study. That figure has held roughly constant over the past couple of decades, but there are a couple factors that can influence whether families sit down at home for dinner.
It’s not surprising that busy parents have trouble finding the time to prepare dinner for their loved ones on a daily basis. But, the alternative – eating out or ordering take-out – can have numerous harmful effects on the family.
When you head out to a restaurant for a meal, you’re almost guaranteed to be eating food in greater portions and with higher caloric value than you would in most at-home meals. A 2013 study by Public Health Nutrition demonstrated that the participants in the survey ate an additional 200 calories per day on average compared to their counterparts who ate at home. In addition to hiking up their calorie count, people who eat out at restaurants tend to consume more salt, sugar and saturated fats – leading to an overall unhealthy diet.
Did you know the average cost of a meal outside of the home is almost $13? Meanwhile, the average American heads out to eat slightly more than 18 times per month. The result for many households is a major dent in their family budgets. Meals prepared at home are less costly than eating out, even if you eat at fast-food or fast-casual restaurants.
Despite the fact that planning for dinner can cause some anxiety, sitting for a family dinner is actually a great way for parents – mothers, in particular – to reduce their stress levels. A 2008 study from Brigham Young University found that working mothers saw their tension levels drop when they were able to sit down for dinner with their families.
The overarching goal that Dream Dinners franchisees seek to fulfill is keeping the family dinner a central feature of their customers’ – and communities’ – daily lives. Dream Dinners helps families eliminate the need to eat out or order take-out to alleviate the stress of meal preparation. By doing so, we help families avoid many of the negative consequences of outside-the-home meals.
Visit the Dream Dinners franchise information page to get started.