Healthy Kids = Eating Dinner Together

I recently took a flight and picked up Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine.  Thought I would share some information that I found interesting.  

“Studies have shown that kids who eat dinner with their families do better in school, feel more socially connected to their parents, have better peer relationships, and are less likely to try drugs and alcohol,” says Grace R. Freedman, Ph.D, executive director of, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing awareness of the benefits of family meals. “Research also suggests that working parents feel like they’re better at balancing their work and personal lives when they find time for family dinner, and families that eat together tend to have healthier diets.  Yet, a 2010 Pew Research poll showed that only about half of families make dinner a daily ritual, and roughly one in five families eat dinner together only occasionally, or never.” (p. 77)

Over the years of working in this field, I have found in my psychotherapy practice that the more disconnected a child becomes from their parents, the lower their self-esteem.  Having dinner with your kids is a consistent way to keep connected to them.  Just make sure you turn off the TV and put down your smartphones.


Source: Freedman, G. (2012, January). Is there a simple way to keep my family happy and healthy? Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine, 77.