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Benefits of Families Eating Together

Updated: Oct 16, 2018

A recent survey conducted by Eckrich(R), a product of ConAgra Foods, found that 40 percent of American families eat dinner together only three or fewer times a week, with 10 percent never eating dinner together at all. Unsettling statistics for sure.

By Dr. Nina Radcliff - - Friday, April 14, 2017

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art,” said the 17th-century writer François de La Rochefoucau. There are many facets of this intelligence that comes to benefit our good health.

Along with thoughtful, delicious meals, there are great health benefits that just gathering together as family and friends around a dining table provides – that ranks right up there with nutritious heart and mind healthy foods.

Yes, generally when we think about health benefits of eating, we typically consider what we should – or should not – eat; or what nutritious value is within what we are consuming; or calculating how much salt or sugar and even how much we should be eating. However, experts agree—along with the prospect of the eating experience being delicious and enjoyable – gathering around a dining table together has far reaching physical and mental health benefits, for everyone of all ages. At the table, we share stories, build upon relationships, learn from each other’s mistakes and triumphs; and not only creating bonds that define us…but also architecting the hallmarks of our wellbeing. In fact, this time benefits every aspect of your wellbeing — emotionally, physically, socially, occupationally, spiritually, intellectually and mentally – which all acts and interacts in a way that contributes to our overall quality of life.

While for some, mealtime is sacred, over recent years, the time dining with family and friends has fallen to “fewer and far” between. Today’s demands of conflicting schedules (long work hours, children’s activities and other responsibilities), dining together has become for many a luxury and lifestyle choice. And too, facts are that more people eat in front of computers, television, or on the run, rather than with others. Studies show that dining tables, when used to gather with one another, are great agents in living a healthier life. If you do eat together regularly please continue. If you curently do not eat together wih family and friends we encourage you to make it a priority - the benefits are well documented.

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