I believe we all want what's best for our kids and do our very best to provide them with the environment and opportunities to help them thrive. Many kids are lucky enough to be involved in extra-curricular activities including sports, drama, music and other hobbies. Through these activities, they learn valuable skills in self-discipline, teamwork, and stick-with-it-ness that will hopefully serve them well in their future endeavors.
That being said, if I could recommend families do only ONE thing to improve a their child's health, wellbeing and chances for success in the world, it would be the family meal.
It seems almost too simple or old-fashioned to be my go-to advice, but common sense and science agree that making time to sit down and for a meal together empowers children for:
- better academic performance
- higher self-esteeem
- greater sense of resilience
- improved social and communication skills
- lower risk of substance abuse
- lower risk of teen pregnancy
- lower risk of depression and suicide
- lower risk of developing eating disorders
- lower rates of obesity
- improved sense of belonging
Need some FREE & easy recipe ideas? Check out these One Pot Wonders from the Family Dinner Project. Slow cooker and Quick & Easy recipes from AllRecipes.
Kylie Vannaman MD is a Board-Certified Family Medicine Doctor in Kansas City who believes that trusting relationships and quality conversations are essential to providing outstanding primary care to one and all. Sign up today!