Everyone at the table: eating together is physical and emotional nourishment

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Eating regularly together, as a family, is especially good for the psychophysical well-being of children. The results of a Canadian study.

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Eating together, all seated around a table, is good for individuals and families. The benefits, according to a Canadian study published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, are both physical and mental and concern, in particular, the little ones.





What happens when we are at the table together? We eat, of course, but we also share, we develop relationships and ways of being with others. The meal time is a social and formative moment; strengthens the bonds between parents and children and between siblings. The presence of at least one of the parents ensures that the issues that may emerge - topics related to social issues, normal daily worries, comments on what has happened in one's day - are developed in a familiar and emotionally safe, contained environment.

If in the family the communication level is positive, constructive, for children it becomes a sort of "training" in communication with others, with people outside their family. In general - says the professor Linda Pagani, one of the researchers - “our study suggests that family meals are an effective way to improve the well-being of children”: in particular, they demonstrate higher communication skills and greater emotional balance. They have greater social skills (and, according to the Canadian study, over the years show less propensity to express aggressive, challenging behaviors). But not only that: research has also shown that children have a lower propensity to consume soft drinks or fast food: eating food cooked at home, in short, educates both the taste and more generally a healthier food culture.

The benefits can be registered when having lunch or dinner together is a regular practice, not an occasional one, and if it really becomes also a moment of "meeting". Eating together is sharing, exchanging opinions in a social circularity, get together to hire a nourishment that is both physical and emotional and - so, after - to be able start again, stronger and more ready, towards other activities: applies to all ages. And it has an even more significant “flavor” for the little ones: of direction, support, reference and training.



Read also:

  • 10 reasons to eat slower
  • 10 ways to help kids eat healthy

Maybe a scientific study was not needed to show that being together, in the family, is good. But in these times of rush, when family schedules are high and being present, everyone, for lunch and dinner is not always easy, the Canadian studio reminds us and emphasizes the importance - always and even more so when we have children (in in particular, the research considers the effects on children from the age of six) - of a creative and organizational effort in this direction: shared meals, which are not an occasional, festive event, but which have a certain regularity. And that allow time and space for a dialogue between everyone, peacefully: thus becoming good nourishment for mind, spirit and body. Of all.



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