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  • Writer's picturePei Wen

Why Children Benefit from Family Dining Moments?




Mealtimes with the family should be about more than just food, they can also be a time to talk, share and celebrate things or day for a family member. However, it is not good if families gather at the table to criticize, control or become distracted by technology. Better eating habits are more common in families that eat together on a regular basis. Parents have the chance to model healthy eating at the family meal by trying new healthy foods or advising on eating the right amount. Children who eat with their families generally have a positive outcome and here are the importance of family meals for the children.


Develop language skill


Family meals can help young children develop their language skills. Children can learn new vocabulary through discussions and conversation during mealtime conversations. Children who eat dinner with their families more frequently are more likely to get good grades in school according to research. Therefore, it is important as children can improve their vocabulary skill when they have family meals together.


Develop social skills


Children can learn social skills like manners, turn-taking, how to clean up, share responsibility, and how to cook healthy meals during family mealtimes. By passing dishes, plating meals, and using utensils, it also helps younger children develop patience and fine motor skills. Therefore, family meals provide ample opportunities for teaching these social skills.


Stronger bond in family


It is undoubtedly that families can form stronger bonds when they eat together. At work and in school, everyone lives apart and therefore this precious time can allow them to reconnect. You will also be able to monitor the school lives of your children when they share with you their school lives or their friends.


Healthier kid



Children are more likely to choose healthy meals and to be less likely to be overweight or obese when families eat together. The children's participation in the preparation and serving of nutritious meals at home provides the health benefit. Children whose families regularly gather for meals appear to consume a wider variety of foods and are more likely to obtain enough nutrition. A child has more healthy options for meals due to this expanded selection instead of having junk foods or fast foods.


Better mental health


Children who regularly eat with their parents are more likely to be emotionally stable and to be in better mental health. Children who eat meals with their families on a regular basis were more likely to have good manners and communicate well as well as less likely to suffer from mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, commit suicide, or engage in risky behaviors. Additionally, children who eat frequently with their families were found to be happier and less stressed than children who did not.


Reduce screen time


It is necessary to detox from using computers and mobile devices constantly. It has been found that children who spend more time in front of screens are less healthy. Having dinner together without technology at the table can give everyone a break as well as alleviate depression, behavioral issues, obesity and other health issues.


Safe from food allergies



Making meals is an important skill to learn at home as many children today have food allergies and sensitivities. It's a great skill to teach your child to cook with safe substitutes if they have a food allergy or sensitivity. Knowing which ingredients are acceptable and how to incorporate them into foods can make them more independent and stay safe from any food allergies.


Tips to make family meals enjoyable


Focus on enjoying food and eating together


Keep mealtime conversations neutral and don't talk about how much or what food is being eaten if you want to reduce the pressure and make it enjoyable for family meals. Avoid comparing children for their eating behaviors on the table. If you would like to praise your child for their efforts at the table, emphasize on their proper table manners. Mealtimes may become more enjoyable and relaxed as a result.


Be creative with mealtimes



When you have the time and opportunity, you can try to make the mealtimes fun and creative and give the whole family something to look forward to. For example, you can make pancakes with your children for breakfast. You can even make a meal with a theme, like food from a country where your child is learning a language at school. Besides, you can invite a special guest, such as a friend, grandparent, or neighbor over for dinner. This can also be a great way to meet the friends of your child.


Reduce the rush


You can set aside 20-30 minutes for family meals which provides ample time for your children to eat. They will have the chance to try new foods and learn how to eat well. Additionally, this gives you and your child time to unwind, converse and enjoy your family time. It shouldn’t be a problem if your toddler can't stay still for 20 minutes if they have to move around in their chair or leave the table from time to time. However, ensure that your child eats only when they are seated at the table. If children eat while playing or running around, they are more likely to choke.


Family meals might not be possible every day. However, ensure that everyone gets together for shared dinners on the weekends or once in a week. Your children will benefit greatly from doing so, from physical, mental to their spiritual health.


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Genesis Childcare 1989, one of the best childcare in Tampines, offers a welcoming, well-ventilated, and comfortable learning environment for your child to learn, explore, discover, and be creative. Our preschool in Tampines has been taking care of your beloved child for more than 30 years. Since 1989, we have been a leading childcare center in Singapore. We are dedicated to providing our young learners with a holistic education through a variety of learning areas and positive learning attitudes. Our teachers' facilitation and interactions with the students are highly valued.


Genesis Childcare 1989 believes that each child deserves to be loved and cherished as an individual. We have created a curriculum that gives children the opportunity for bilingual learning and helps them acquire the knowledge and skills they need for easier transition to primary school. Our Preschool Tampines also provides nutritious meals for the children and helps the children to cultivate healthy eating habits.

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