The family that breaks bread together, stay together. They have stronger and often healthier relationships.
At least that is what a study by Dr. William Doherty and The Family Barilla Project says.
We’re gonna break down the study by the numbers.
70 percent of kids appreciate their parents when they share a meal.
61 percent of kids agree their parents are more fun and relaxed when they have dinner together.
82 percent of parents feel closer to their kids when they have dinner together.
According to this same study, families who cook and eat together have more open relationships with their parents and may be less prone to childhood obesity and reduce teen drug use.
But why is that?
Food does more than fuel the body, it feeds the soul. Sharing a meal builds community, It’s hard to fight and argue while you are sharing a meal together. Breaking bread together is very intimate, even a right of passage in some cultures.
This is more important than ever as most American families today no longer share meals together, according to The Atlantic.
“The average American eats one in every five meals in her car, one in four Americans eats at least one fast food meal every single day, and the majority of American families report eating a single meal together less than five days a week.”
A recent study by Men’s Health found that,
“4,500 parents of children under 18 years old found that only about one third of parents cook with their kids, even though over 90 percent believe it’s important to do so.”
I remember the days when I would help out preparing meals for my family. My mother would give me the smallest tasks.
I can hear her now, “Could you grab a handful of Shredded Cheese and put it in here?” or “Could you pour a little milk in here,” she would ask as she stirred up the macaroni.
Making homemade Hamburgers was a favorite of mine. Rolling the Ground Beef into patty-size burgers and then watching them rise in the oven was too much for my adolescent mind to handle.
I loved cooking for my family. I felt involved and accomplished. Especially if they enjoyed what I had a hand in making.
Even if that hand did the least amount of work.
After dinner was prepared, we would usually sit down at the table and eat together as we discussed the highlights of our day.
Looking back on it, it was probably one of the few times that we got together and discussed that day’s events. One of the few times we weren’t all moving around and disorganized.
Cooking with your kids not only feeds their body and soul, it teaches them how to feed themselves.
It teaches them how to cook for themselves when they reach that stage of independence at college or once they move out. Those moments in the kitchen with my mother, watching her season, bake, fry, and sauté dishes made me a well-seasoned cook in the kitchen.
This past Thanksgiving, I graduated.
I was tasked with the most important dish of the night.
I was asked to make the Turkey… and I killed it.
Family dinner brings everyone together. You should do it as much as possible.