By the time you read this, many Americans will have already defaulted on their New Year’s resolutions and we are only into day 2! In our household, we don’t typically make resolutions (well, not on New Year’s anyway). We try not to wait until New Year’s Eve to try something new. Each day that we wake up is a new day, a day to start over, make changes, and to be happy. You don’t need to wait for tomorrow, a new year, Monday or Friday.
However, this year I am making one. It is a simple idea but I know it will be challenging. The resolution my husband I have made is to eat dinner together as a family at least four times per week. Ideally it would be every day, but we also know that between all of our commitments, even four times per week will be an improvement on what it is now.
There are many reasons for this new resolve, but the main reason is for the benefit of our children. A new Canadian study suggests children who routinely eat meals together with their family are more likely to experience long-term physical and mental health benefits. Researchers looked at kids whose parents reported eating family meals together when the children were 6. By age 10, these children had higher levels of general fitness, lower levels of soft drink consumption, better social skills, and fewer behavioral problems than kids who didn’t eat with their parents.
Eating together with your family also offers a sense of security for children, as well as an opportunity for them to share what is going on in their day. An opportunity without the distraction of smart phones, television and other devices, to talk, open up and really enjoy a meal with your family.
So, that is my resolution. And although, I am doing it because I know it will benefit my kids, I know I will get a lot out of it, too.
Photo from here, with thanks.