Now Science Says So: Eating Together is Good for You!

Here are 10 scientifically-proven reasons that eating together is good for you:

 

  • Dining together strengthens our relationship with our family and friends

 

Apparently, the simple act of making time for eating with our family and friends both expands and reinforces our bonds with them especially when we make time daily. It's particularly important for younger members of our pack to eat routinely with family to feel a sense of security and belonging. Surprisingly, 71% of teenagers, agroup known to shy away from “family time,” said they enjoy eating at home with their families too.

 

  • Eating healthier is often a result of eating with loved ones

 

Recent studies have found that people of all ages who eat with loved ones are far healthier. As a result, better food choices and eating habits are now closely associated with dining with family and friends. Not surprisingly, kids, ages 9 to 14, eat more fruits and vegetables when they dine with their parents. They even eat less fried foods and drink fewer sodas. Meanwhile, adults and kids have both been shown to get more of the essential nutrients like calcium, fiber, and iron needed for fitter bodies when they eat with family at home. Leading nutritionists point to making time to talk about food at the dinner table like discussing what's healthy to eat as being largely responsible.

 

  • Children who eat with their loved ones have better grades in school

 

Believe it or not, students, including adults in school but especially kids, have better grades thanks to eating together. Studies show a direct link that teens who enjoy 4-7 family meals per week are twice more likely to get A's and B's in school than their counterparts who have less than 3 family meals weekly. In fact, only a small percentage of teens who ate meals with their family reported that they did poorly at school.

 

  • Eating with family and friends encourage us to try new cuisines

 

Eating together with family and friends present the perfect opportunity to explore unique cuisines whether at home or at a restaurant. Parents tend to try new recipes especially the ones they find online when cooking at home thereby sharing new foods and flavors with their kids. Meanwhile, adults get more daring with experimenting with new foods from different cultures when they dine with their buddies.  Children are likelier to try ingredients they often dislike like vegetables and spices when eating with their parents. They have also been shown to start liking them at home.

 

  • People who share meals with their loved ones are happier overall

 

Recent research supports that people who share meals with loved ones are indeed happier people. Individuals who dine with family and friends are often stronger emotionally and have positive mental health. Teens and younger children, on the other hand, are more well-adjusted, have better manners (not just at the table), and have better conversation skills, surveys show. It's not just the kids—parents who share meals with their kids have also been known to be happier and more contented with their life too.

 

  • Eating with friends and family makes dieting even easier

 

Folks who want to lose weight need to spend more eating time with their families at home. It might work better for your diet to eat homemade meals. Whether it’s due to portion control or ingredient choices, restaurants meals have been scientifically measured to have as much as 60% more calories than their homemade counterparts.

 

  • Kids who have more family dinners are often healthier

 

Studies now show children who enjoy more family dinners are less likely to suffer from childhood obesity and diabetes. This is because they can eat more consistently nutritious meals at home especially when they are encouraged to help prepare and serve them. By having kids help cook, they likewise become more aware of what's healthy and what's not like baking versus frying. On top of that, making them responsible for one meal a week teaches them the virtues of planning and taking charge.

 

  • We're less stressed out when we eat with our family and friends

 

People in stressful jobs are more likely not to find the time to eat with their family and friends. However, studies now show, eating together will reduce that stress significantly. Scientific studies support that individuals who suffer from long hours at work have better vitals after they sit down for a meal with family and friends. Working parents benefit the most from having at least one meal a day with their kids.

 

  • People, who dine together, including with a friend,experience numerous benefits too

 

Finally, single people are probably asking, "What about me?" Well, scientific studies also show that social dining with a spouse, friend, co-worker, and even a blind date is good for you. Taking the time to sit with someone at a table to eat not only reduces stress but also makes you less lonely and as a result, more positive overall about life.  These studies also prove we eat less when we dine with someone we like even if it's just a good friend.

So, science (and surveys) do show that eating with our family and friends have numerous physical and mental health benefits.  Therefore, a dash family and friends are indeed the best ingredients you can add to any meal!

Sources:

  1. “The Science of Eating Together” https://foodtank.com/news/2013/07/the-science-of-eating-together/
  2. “6 PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF FAMILY MEALS” https://brainfodder.org/eating-together/
  3. “Science Says: Eat with Your Kids” http://theconversation.com/science-says-eat-with-your-kids-34573

Do people who eat together have better relationships, better health, and overall better lives?

Family meals are shockingly in decline. 59% of Americans say that their own families nowadays eat together less than the ones they remember growing up in. Sure, modern technology makes it easier for us to keep in touch with family and friends whether it’s getting updates on social media or video-chatting. On the other hand, we are likewise more distracted by technology, including at the dinner table. In fact, these days, we might not get as far to the dinner table to enjoy a meal with loved ones, and we are missing out, according to science. Yes, even scientists are now praising the health benefits of eating together with family and friends andbacking it up with scientific facts we can't ignore.

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