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Why Families Should Eat Together

By Sara Butler

Everyone knows that what they eat has a big impact on their health, but it's not the only thing that can impact your well-being at the dinner table. It turns out that your family has an impact on your health and wellness too. Here are just a few of the reasons you should make time to eat together as a family.

You'll Eat Better

There is a connection between eating with your family and eating healthier. Studies have found that when kids have parents present at their meals, they tend to eat more dairy, fruits, and vegetables than they do on their own.

More frequent family dinners also enforce better eating habits in children of all ages, leading them to eat more nutritious foods and less saturated fat, sugar, and trans fat. Simply put, eating with your kids is better for them as you at least make them try a lima bean.

You'll Connect

Technology plays a big part in our lives and that makes it more difficult to spend time together as a family. Eating dinner together every night builds in time for everyone to talk and connect -- maybe even do a little bonding. This has the added bonus of boosting emotional and mental health, even working to prevent overeating.

You'll Get Your Kids Involved

Don't simply eat dinner together but cook it together too. Encourage your kids to become involved by asking them to help you plan the menu, prep the ingredients, and put it all together. Even young kids can play a role in prepping dinner, something that helps them to forge a deeper connection to what they're eating and establishes good eating habits for their entire lives.

Your Family Will Be More Confident

When you eat together as a family has the added bonus of enhancing your family relationships and dynamics. Everyone wants to feel needed and creating a positive experience centered around the meals you share helps to set expectations and gives everyone a sense of belonging. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to. It's also a good time for parents to praise their kids and celebrate their accomplishments.

You'll Find Better Structure

Many children thrive in structured environments, which is why it's important to anchor your day with meals together. It's always a good idea to allow some flexibility, but it's an important cornerstone for a lot of families -- make yours one of them.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lynnwood, Wash.

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