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Over three decades of research have shown that regular family meals offer a wide variety of physical, social-emotional and academic benefits. While some of these benefits can be gained through other activities, eating together is the only single activity that is known to provide all of them at the same time.
We recommend combining food, fun and conversation at mealtimes because those three ingredients are the recipe for a warm, positive family dinner — the type of environment that makes these scientifically proven benefits possible.
Some of the specific benefits of family dinners are: Better academic performance; higher self-esteem; greater sense of resilience; lower risk of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, depression, eating disorders, obesity; better cardiovascular health in teens; more comprehensive vocabulary in preschoolers, and healthier eating patterns in young adults.
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