Some of our most treasured childhood memories are from time spent around the dining room table with family.
We bickered back and forth about who got the bigger pork chop. We complained about the weird vegetables Mom made us eat. We may have even tried to sneak filling out Mad Libs under the table. Most of the time, it was pure chaos.
But it was “our chaos,” and it was always worth it.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in Timbuktu, you know that families these days are stretched thin. Parents are working longer and harder and coming home to plates piled in the sink and soggy, smelly laundry accidentally left in the washing machine overnight. Children are participating in more extracurricular activities. “Spending time together” consists of giving a nod as you pass each other in the hallway on your way to the next “thing.”
We are just… busy. Statistics suggest that the typical American family eats dinner together less than 2-3 times per week. That’s a whole lot of missed conversations.
Research has also shown that children who have frequent meals with their family are more likely to:
- Do better in school
- Have closer relationships with parents and siblings
- Resist negative peer pressure
- Be emotionally content
One of the most important benefits of eating together as a family is the sense of identity and belonging. Think of the dinner table as the family unifier, the safe place to drop attitude, let down walls and, for a brief moment in time, enjoy the company of the people we care about.
Also, meals prepared at home are usually more nutritious compared to dining out or picking up a cheap-o pizza as an afterthought. A healthier and happier family? We’re in. How about you?
One of the best things about dinner is that it doesn’t need to be a spectacular 5-course meal that you slave over for hours (so that everyone can gobble it up in 15 minutes and head to their separate corners of the house). Many nutritious and delicious meals can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.
Need ideas for fast and easy recipes? Try these:
And if you are ever in a pinch and need a quick and healthy dinner for the fam, we’ve got your back. Our deli is full of delicious, healthy, homemade grab-n-go meals that your family will gobble up.
Sharing food around a table with people you love is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Julia Child once said, “That’s what human life is all about, enjoying things.” We wholeheartedly believe that food can bring people together in awesome ways.
As National Family Meals Month comes to an end, we challenge you to continue sharing just one more dinner together with your family each week. Put down your phones. Turn off the television. Ask questions. Get to know each other. Create memories now. Don’t wait. Because what we know is this: Life is short, so eat good food with your family.