Why Family Meals Matter

Family meals can be a hard thing to come by nowadays. Parents are consistently running around trying to get ready for the next thing or eating on the go to make it to the next activity on time. Family dinners create the perfect time to involve children and promotes development. Sitting down and actually eating with family can have many benefits and can bring the family together.

Family meals create cohesion and brings everyone closer together. There are not a lot of opportunities within the day to sit down and talk with your whole family and dinners can provide that opportunity. Parents may be working, kids may be at school or appointments, and everyone might be going their separate ways after dinner. Family meals creates time for everyone re-connect which is important in bringing people together.

Family meals can also promote child development. If you have your child help set the table or help with the cooking, it can help develop responsibility. Your child will gain the sense of being needed and learn how to handle a little task or two. Family meals also create a lot of conversations at the table and this can help increase your child’s vocabulary. It is important to include your child in conversations and ask them questions.

There is a lot going on during family meals and that provides opportunities for the child to help. It is important to have your child help because it can give them a sense of being needed and a sense of responsibility. Your child can help with many things including:

  • This is the main part of the meal and including your child can help them feel needed. Your child can be in charge of the timer or help pour or gather ingredients. You can visit our blog for quick recipes your child could help with and read our post “Tips on Cooking with your Child” to learn more.
  • Setting the table. Your child can help set out napkins, silverware, and possible even plates and cups. They could also go around and see what everyone would like to drink and report back to an adult who can help pour the drinks.
  • Let your child pick the side dish for the meal or even pick out a quick dessert that they could help make.

Lastly, family meals ensure quality time. Family is the support system for children and they need time to spend with them. As mentioned before, we know how busy lives of parents can be and having meals together can ensure time spent together. There’s no better way than to bond over food and conversations about the day. Even just a half hour for a quick meal can make a difference.

It can be hard to get the whole family together and meals provide the perfect time to bring everyone together. They create a sense of cohesion and ensure quality time. They even provide opportunities for your child to help and promote child development. If you have trouble starting family meals, try starting out with just two a week and grow from there. It doesn’t hurt to give it a try and it may even become the whole family’s favorite part of the day.

If you have any questions about Cerebral Palsy or family meals, please call us at (800) 692-4453 or fill out our contact form on Facebook or our website.