Substance Abuse Prevention Counsellor
A new study has shown that family meals together lower rates of risky behavior in teenagers. In fact, family dinners together have a myriad of benefits:
- Teens who have dinner with their families five or more nights per week are 32 per cent more likely to have never tried cigarettes, 45 per cent more likely to never have tried alcohol and 24 per cent more likely to never have smoked marijuana compared to teens who had family dinners twice a week or less.
- Teens who have dinner with their families five or more times a week are nearly twice as likely to receive A’s in school compared to the teens who ate with their families two or fewer times a week.
- Children who reported eating three or more meals a week with their family were significantly more likely to report their parents were proud of them.
- Adolescents who eat regular family meals together consume more vegetables, calcium-rich foods, dietary fiber and essential nutrients.
Another finding revealed that by making family dinner a priority, families with teenagers enhance child-parent communication and ultimately promote healthy adolescent development.
The authors of the study urged families to turn the television off, put all cellphones away and for parents not to use the sit-down meal as an opportunity to nag or scold.