Compiled by Libby's, here are five really good reasons why sharing a meal with your family is good for the stomach and the soul.
1. You could get an A+: Research shows that children who eat dinner with their families five or more times a week are more likely to have higher grades in school – regardless of gender, family structure or economic status.
2. It's easier to say no to drugs: According to the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, frequent family meals have been linked to a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using marijuana. When you spend more time with your kids at the dinner table, it's easier to spot changes in behavior and develop a better relationship with them.
3. Good conversation builds confidence: Researchers at Emory University found that pre-teens whose parents tell family stories at dinner have higher self-esteem and get along better with their peers during their teen.
4. Eating at the table means eating better: A University of Minnesota study found that kids in families who watched TV while eating meals together had a poorer diet than children whose families ate together around a table. Boys who watched TV while eating ate fewer vegetables and grains and drank more soft drinks while girls who watched TV ended up eating fewer dark vegetables and more fried food.
5. It's good for girls: Studies show that teenage girls who ate five or more meals per week with their families were less likely to resort to extreme dieting measures such as self-induced vomiting, diet pills or laxatives. This was true regardless of socioeconomic status, body mass index or family connectedness.
To help get families back to the table, Libby's has partnered with "Total Mom" expert Hannah Keeley to create $10 meals that moms can prepare in 10 minutes or less. Here are a few sample recipes that your family may enjoy.
Tip: For a spicier soup, increase amount of chili powder to taste.
Tip: Add chopped leftover ham, turkey or chicken.
All recipes and photos courtesy of Libby's and GetBacktoTheTable.com, where you can find more information about family mealtime and practical recipe ideas.
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