The significance of a family meal has been emphasized by many cultures across the world. The belief is that it brings people together and keeps up tradition in a positive way. But there has been concern expressed that the family meal is becoming a dying trend. A relic of an old-fashioned past that is losing its significance. But studies and discussion groups have now begun to re-establish the importance of the family meal. Read on for reasons why it should be an important part of every family’s day.
One of the most significant contributions of the family meal is the ways it teaches us to communicate. Young or old, quiet or talkative, every family member must be present. Communicating our concerns and problems to our family can be difficult during busy life. But the family meal provides the opportunity to see them for input and advice. Not only do we learn a lot about ourselves by communicating to our families. But we also learn about how others communicate too. An awareness of differing forms of communication actually increases our social skills. It teaches us from an early age that people experience thoughts and emotions differently. Communication has even been shown to increase our empathy and understanding of others. Many families encourage lively discussions and even debate around the table. Some children and adolescents develop into confident public speakers as a result. Even at its most relaxed, the family meal is a chance to connect. We can communicate our thoughts, concerns,and plans to our loved ones. We are encouraging honesty and collaboration in subtle but significant ways.
The importance of diet and nutrition is first established at home by the family meal. The family meal has the power to create a sense of comfort and abundance, or even despondency. Many people report strong memories of both positive and negative family meals. This emphasizes their social significance. Whether we are enjoying a salad or a t-bone steak, we are arguably making the habits that last a lifetime. Much of the obesity epidemic has been linked to poor habits made in the home. It has been shown that the nutritional value of the family meal is often what we learn to crave ourselves. Sugary or salty snacks leads to the desire for more, for example. While nutritious whole foods creates balance and a sense of fullness without overeating.
Many people speak fondly of their family mealtime memories. Family mealtimes are often when several generations might come together at once. Babies, toddlers, teenagers and the elderly sit down together. There are few situations where else there would be such a variety of ages as a family meal. Many family disputes have been created and solved around the dinner table. It is an intimate environment that forms a strong basis of memory because it is often a daily activity. It is important to appreciate the social and psychological significance of the family meal. We can ensure that it is positive and healthy for future generations.