August is Family Meals Month.
Studies have identified many benefits of family dinners for children, including:
- Better academic performance
- Higher self-esteem
- Lower risk of substance abuse (drugs, cigarettes, alcohol)
- Lower rates of obesity and eating disorders
- Eating more fruits and vegetables, and less soda and fried foods
While some of these benefits have been debated (mostly around the issue of correlation vs. causality), on a basic level, family meals can strengthen your relationship with each other and with your food. From meal prep to cleanup, family mealtime is a wonderful opportunity to cultivate a “real food” culture in your home, and to lay the foundation for lifelong health and wellness.