by Brittany Barton for Change Food
August 28, 2015
As summer winds down, families gear up for the back to school routine. This means earlier mornings, shuttling kids to and from school, fitting in basketball practice, dance class, piano lessons, homework and time with friends. Each family is stretched for time and something critical is missing, family dinner.
August is Family Meals Month. In 2011, Laurie David presented at TEDxManhattan on the importance of healthy, family meals in a world where eating right has become increasingly difficult. The dinner table is where we learn our first lessons of civilized behavior. With kids spending more than seven hours per day on electronic devices, they are missing out on key lessons gleaned from human connection. Laurie mentions that entire families living under the same roof are leading separate lives under the influence of personal electronics.
Connected family time is moving toward extinction and children are suffering for it. Studies show a decreased risk in drug and alcohol use, teen pregnancy, eating disorders and depression when families share a meal at least three times per week.
The regular act of sitting down and eating together creates a safe, predictable time with ritualized access to one another. This is a time for real connection away from electronics where children learn values and manners. Continue reading