The amazing benefits of eating and talking together
Are you a food slurper or a quiet eater? Like so much of our food behaviour, we tend to pick up these habits from what we observe while growing up. So if we’d been born in China we’d possibly be hearty slurpers of noodles, where it’s considered good manners. Instead, growing up in Melbourne I learnt to be a quiet eater but a chatterbox at meal times. It’s a habit that continues to this day in my family - although, as any parent will understand, it’s met with some resistance over the years from kids eager to keep the TV on.
But if you’re facing the same war of wills between the TV and the dinner table, hold strong - it’s a victory that pays quite amazing dividends.
Families who eat together round the dinner table, and with the TV off, have less incidence of obesity and of children developing eating disorders. Studies have also shown that dinner conversation helps boost children’s vocabulary, (even more than reading!) And it’s also linked with them enjoying greater self-esteem. I was surprised to discover that the casual story-telling we do when we’re at the table helps our children build resilience.
Little simple habits like this can lay the foundation for a lifetime of good health for your children. So pass the water jug and, tell me, how was your day?
Interested in discovering more? In April Healthy Food Guide we show you 5 simple ways to keep your kids healthy for life.