Eight Reasons to Eat Sit-Down Dinners as a Family in 2015

Family_eating_lunch_(2)Over the last 20 years, dozens of studies have confirmed what parents have known intuitively for a long time: Sitting down for a nightly dinner is good for the spirit, the brain, and the body. Research shows that shared meals are tied to many teenage behaviors that parents pray for: reduced rates of substance abuse, eating disorders, and depression, as well as higher grade point averages and self-esteem. For young children, conversation at the table is a bigger vocabulary booster than reading aloud to them. The icing on the cake is that kids who eat regular family dinners grow up to be young adults who eat more healthily and have lower rates of obesity.

As a working mother who has learned by trial and error with my two sons and husband, and as a family therapist who asks every family about their dinners, this is what else I’ve learned…

What are my eight reasons to eat with your family? Find out on MariaShriver.com.

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