Monday, March 3, 2014

Family Meals: A Vaccine For... (astonishing research about family meal time)

One of the most important principles I was ever taught, and that I've tried to teach my children is to
 make the most important decisions beforehand!
 We have lists of things we will ALWAYS do, and things we will NEVER do.

There's great power in deciding what we will do in a given circumstance.  When the moment of truth comes, the decision is already made... life becomes more intentional, and situations that could be very difficult become much easier.

It may seem silly to include family meals in the category of total commitment, but truly I believe family meals ARE THAT IMPORTANT.

I'm NOT saying to have a gourmet dinner perfectly prepared at EVERY meal. What I AM suggesting is to commit that your family will gather together at the table (or elsewhere :) at least several times each week for a meal. Why?

Because of some of the most interesting words I've ever heard in my whole life....

"[There] is something about a shared meal-- not some holiday blowout, not once in a while but regularly, reliably-that anchors a family even on nights when the food is fast and the talk is cheap and everyone has someplace they'd rather be.  And on those evenings when the mood is right and the family lingers caught up in an idea or an argument explored in a shared safe place where no one is stupid or shy or ashamed, you get a glimpse of the power of this habit and why social scientists say such communion acts as a kind of vaccine, protecting kids from all manner of harm."

Studies show that the MORE OFTEN families eat together:

the LESS likely kids are to
do drugs
get depressed
develop eating disorders
consider suicide

and the MORE likely kids are to
do well in school
delay having sex
eat their vegetables
learn big words
know which fork to use

Source: The Magic of the Family Meal by Nancy Gibbs

 Time families spend together eating meals at home is THE STRONGEST predictor of children's academic achievement and psychological adjustment.
  See source HERE by Dallin H. Oaks

The saying is true:

(Ok, not in a cannibalistic way... you get my drift :)). 

 One of the most crucial commitments our society needs is for families to eat meals together.  It doesn't matter if we're lousy cooks or a gourmet chefs! I believe the greatest difference we can make in the world starts in our own little, seemingly insignificant time and meals to our families.

Just a little food for thought.

Be sure to check out all of the posts in our 31 Days of Feeding the Family Series

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