The Importance of eating together as a family
With after-school clubs, playdates with pals, Mum and Dad working late, and with the family demanding different dishes at dinnertime, it’s easy for family dining to become a thing of the past in our busy and hectic modern lives. In fact, research reveals that more than 20% of families in the UK sit down for a family meal together only once or twice a week and 40% of families only dine together at the table to have a meal three times a week. Though no matter how busy we are, it is important to try and gather as a family and eat together now and then.
Weetwood Hall explores the reasons why it is important for families to regularly sit round the table and dine together.
Children tend to eat healthier
By having a plate of salad or vegetables on the table, research has shown that youngsters tend to eat healthier when they dine at the table with adults. Children are also more likely to try new foods and have a more varied diet when they eat with the rest of the family at mealtimes.
Quality family time
Meals should be a time to relax, socialise and unwind, as well as enjoying some nutritious food. Eating with the rest of the family is the perfect time for families to catch up on what they’ve been doing, share any good news, discuss plans, and generally chat and have a good time together.
You might have had a stressful day but according to a study compiled at Brigham Young University, sitting down to a family mean can help parents and youngsters alleviate any stress or tension built up during the day. Eating together as a family can help people put aside their work and make time for their family, which can be an effective stress buster.
Help give children the attention they crave
Teenagers can get into trouble for all kinds of reasons, but not getting sufficient attention from their parents is one aspect that is related to youngsters doing things that they shouldn’t. Children who regularly eat meals with their parents, are more likely to have the attention they crave and consequently can be less inclined to get into trouble and experiment with things that they should not experiment with.
As Carleton Kendrick, author of ‘Take Out Your Nose Ring, Honey, We’re Going to Grandma’s’ advises:
“Regular family meals are probably the best psychological ‘daily vitamin’ parents can give their children. They’re far more powerful in the long and short term than you might think they are”
Take more time over a meal
From getting heartburn to putting strain on the digestive system, the negative implications of rushing a meal have long been established. Eating round the table with the family tends to be a slower affair, in which we take more time over our meals, have pauses between dishes and generally slow down the whole eating process.
Even if you can’t seem to find the time to all eat together as a family during the week, enjoying a meal out together in a restaurant or a pub at the weekend can be a great excuse to get the family together and benefit from the many advantages of family dining.
If you’re looking for a great place to eat in Leeds where all the family are welcome, Weetwood Hall in Leeds has a selection of restaurants and bars to cater for all dining tastes and occasions. Take a look at the menus we have available at our restaurants and bars, as well as our cosy Stables Pub, and enjoy the great dining you and your family deserves.
The creation of an exciting new restaurant, Convive, has also started in the grounds of Weetwood Hall. Meaning ‘to be a comrade of the table’ and ‘To feast together’ emphasis will be on family dining and good food. Watch out for more information in the near future.