I found this interesting article entitled "Why Family Meals Matter." It is written by Karen Ansel. I wanted to read more about it because my mom has always been really good about cooking healthy, delicious, homemade meals almost every night of the week, and I feel very spoiled by her incredible baking and cooking abilities. I definitely feel that this daily ritual or tradition of eating homemade meals as a family, has kept our family of ten children really close together. It is impossible for everyone to be there every night, especially for the older married couples, but growing up, it was just expected to have dinner together every night. Now the married kids have children of their own that they have incorporated this tradition with as well. And, my favorite nights are the ones where the whole entire family is able to get together about once a month to have family dinner. There is just something about it that makes it really special and happy.
This article basically explains just this-that family is the most valuable thing in our lives and we need to cherish the moments we are able to spend with them. In addition to building closer, better relationships with our family members through eating meals together, Dawn Jackson Blatner states that "Families who eat together have healthier, more balanced diets." This is definitely true for my family because we have grown up on the healthy foods my mom prepared for us. If she had made us fend for ourselves all the time, then we definitely would not have eaten anywhere near as nutritionally as we should have. Dawn Jackson Blatner adds, "Making family mealtime a priority not only improves everyone's physical health, but it also contributes to their overall well-being and mental health." Many studies have been done on people who eat family meals and those who rarely do. A surprisingly high amount (93%) of family meals are cooked at home. This was kind of surprising to me for this day and age, but it's good to hear that. I really like this quote by the author, Karen Ansel, "More meals prepared and eaten together means better nutrition, more control over what's eaten, and less weight gain for the whole family." I think she hit it right on the head. To me, this just makes sense. A study result that I found very interesting is that adolescents who frequently share meals with their families eat more fruits and vegetables and less fried food, saturated fat, and trans fat, and also consume more calcium, iron, folate, fiber, and vitamins C, E, B6, and B12.
I'm really glad I read this article and I think everyone should read it because it just shows the importance of family meals and how it affects people throughout their lifetime. I have been fortunate enough to have been blessed with this wonderful tradition of eating with the family since I was just a baby, but I feel sorry for those who have never experienced, or rarely get to experience it.
To read more, the link to this post is http://edition.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/family/11/07/cl.family.meals/index.html?eref=rss_health