Many studies have already proven the importance of having family meals even a few times a week, but according to an article on ScienceDaily.com, regular dinners may improve the well-being of teenage children.

McGill professor Frank Elgar from the Institute for Health and Social Policy, together with his colleagues from Queens University, Wendy Craig and Stephen Trites, examined sample data from 26,069 adolescents between ages 11 to 15, who participated in the 2010 Canadian Health Behavior in School-Aged Children study. The researchers then assessed the frequency of family dinners in connection to mental health.

Results showed that family dinners affect teens in a positive way. Family dinners have been found to lessen communication constraints and to improve mental health dimensions, such as problem internalization and externalization, emotional well-being, and life satisfaction. Aside from helping build good nutritional behaviors, these regular get-togethers also give adolescents the chance to voice out their opinions and makes them feel valued.

So even if you and the members of your family are always busy, it’s important to set aside time to come together over a good meal, even a few times a week. This doesn’t only build stronger connections but also become a time for the entire family to get to know each other more.

(Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture via Flickr Creative Commons)

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