"What if I told you that there was a magic bullet--something that would improve the quality of your daily life, your children's chances of success in the world, your family's health, our values as a society? Something that is inexpensive, simple to produce and within the reach of pretty much anyone?" Miriam Weinstein, The Surprising Power of Family Meals (Steer Forth Press, 2005)Today's post lists some evidence and info on how family dinners can help you and your kids have a happy healthy new year. Enjoy!
- Family discussion at mealtime promotes literacy, giving children opportunities to learn vocabulary, practice storytelling, and, in general, acquire knowledge from their parents and siblings. Special Issue of New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, Spring 2006, Issue 111
- Family dinners are associated with reduced rates of obesity and with increased odds of weight reduction among obese adolescents. Obesity 14:2266-2276 (2006)
- Family dinners are associated with healthier eating habits, specifically eating more fruits and vegetables. In "Family Dinner: More than Just a Meal," Journal of the American Dietetic Association - Volume 107, Issue 9 (September 2007.)
- Family rituals and routines, like dinnertime and bedtime, were associated with better family relationships and better health, as shown in a 50-year review of the literature. Journal of Family Psychology, Vol. 16, No. 4 (2002).