The Importance of Eating Family Dinners
Getting rid of family dinners can affect you more than you think.
Family meals are important in people's everyday routine. Sometimes families don't have the time to eat dinner together due to sports or work. Eating dinner as a family helps you save money, improves your health, and is mentally beneficial.
Having family meals at home helps you save a significant amount of money. Eating away from home costs around $8 a meal while eating at home only costs you $4.50. If you eat dinner away from home for a year, the cost is around $2,920. In contrast, eating dinner with your family for a year costs around $1,643 per person. Your potential savings for one year per person would be $1,278.
Another advantage is the health benefits associated with family dinners. Kids eating at home consume more fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and micronutrients, as well as fewer fried foods and soft drinks. Some research has even found a connection between regular family dinners and the reduction of symptoms in medical disorders, such as asthma. Fourteen-and fifteen-year-olds who have infrequent family dinners are three times more likely to use marijuana and two and a half times more likely to use tobacco.
Eating family dinners is intellectually helpful in many ways. In one study of more than 5,000 Minnesota teens, researchers concluded that regular family dinners were associated with lower rates of depression and suicidal thoughts. Young kids learn 1,000 rare words at the dinner table, compared to only 143 from parents reading story books aloud. Kids who eat dinner with their families are 40 percent more likely to receive A’s and B’s in school.
Family dinners also help relieve stress and tension after a long day.
Study after study shows that it is worth the time invested into family dinners. Mirele Mann, an editor and writer, reported that 59 percent of American families today have fewer family dinners than when they were growing up, perhaps due to not having time.
Family dinners lower cost, help you stay healthy, and aid you in learning. Eating family dinners may positively affect your life in more ways than you can imagine, starting with your family relationships.
- Rachel Schultz and Grace Gruska are eighth grade students at Kasson-Mantorville Middle School. They wrote the above for a persuasive essay for an English class. Their instructor is Pete Wyttenbach.