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Dining Tables

What’s So Special About A Dining Room Table?

The dining room table is the heart of the house. Both government and university studies show that families who eat regular meals together benefit, not just nutritionally, but emotionally!

Children who eat 5 or more family meals a week are:

  • More likely to get A’s & B’s in school
  • More likely to think their parents are proud of them
  • More than 50% less likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or try marijuana
  • Less likely to say there is tension between family members
  • Less likely to feel depressed or suicidal

Teenagers who sit down to a family dinner 5 times a week are 45% less likely to drink and 66% less likely to do drugs – yet only about 50% of American teenagers report that they eat regular family dinners.

72% of teens who eat regular meals with their families’ report that their parents would be the first people they went to if they had a problem.

Teenage girls who have family dinners 5 times a week are 33% less likely to develop eating disorders.

The 2004 Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine reports that adolescents who ate frequent family meals did better in school and had better nutritional intake. They were less likely to use drugs and alcohol and less likely to have to have symptoms of depression or physical problems. Family meals were associated with fewer mental health problems, such as low self-esteem, depression, and suicidal tendencies.

The largest federally funded study of teens discovered a strong link between regular family meals (five or more dinners per week with a parent) and academic success, psychological adjustment, lower rates of substance abuse, early sexual behavior, and suicidal risk, both for one parent and two parent families.

A University of Michigan study found that more meal times at home was the single strongest predictor of better achievement scores and fewer behavioral problems in children.

A University of Minnesota study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that children who ate family meals consumed more fruits, vegetables, and fewer snack foods than children who ate separately from their families.

A national poll of high school seniors showed higher scholastic scores among students who frequently ate meals with their families. And a survey of high-achieving teens showed that those who regularly eat meals with their families tend to be happier with their present life and their prospects for the future.

Dinner is one of the best times for couples to reconnect, and catch up with each other face-to face.

"All Great Change in America Begins at the Dinner Table."-Ronald Reagan

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