The Atlantic Magazine makes me thankful for our family dinner routine

The Atlantic Magazine makes me thankful for our family dinner routine
Our family dinner

We began our family dinner routine when our oldest was about 18-months, the same age as our youngest now. It was hectic, just like today. Although I now forget the sources, I then read all about the importance of eating together.

Special celebration at my childhood family dinner table

Special celebration at my childhood family dinner table

Family time around the table for meals mirrors how my husband and I grew-up as kids and young adults.

According to the recent Atlantic Magazine article (thanks for the reference MomFactually), families rarely eat together today.

"In fact, the average American eats one in every five meals in her car, one in four Americans eats at least one fast food meal every single day, and the majority of American families report eating a single meal together less than five days a week. It’s a pity that so many Americans are missing out on what could be meaningful time with their loved ones, but it’s even more than that. Not eating together also has quantifiably negative effects both physically and psychologically."

I'm startled to read Americans often spend as much money on fast food as groceries...

Those statistics negatively impact attendance, truancy and body weight. The obesity factor is the result of eating out and indulging in foods that are usually higher in sugar, sodium and calories — not to mention portion sizes. Eating on the go is also lonely.

That article also sites "just look at the fact that the average American works nearly 220 hours more per year than the average Frenchman"… [who may choose pleasure over productivity]. It shares examples of other cultures (Mexican and Cambodian) whose slower, communal dining experiences enhance perception of equality.

The Atlantic depicts home cooked meals as a class differential as those family homes who eat dinner as a family may have a parent who works at home. I don't think that has to be a class issue, but we are very grateful to almost always be home together to sit down together as a family.

Our family meals aren't fancy or prepped all day, but our toddler loves them. If my husband is traveling for business and we do not sit down as a family to eat, my oldest will insist he can't go to bed that night since we didn't share dinner as a family. We still ate, but not as a family at the table.

What's your dinner routine?

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Filed under: family, wellness

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