The kitchen is an ideal environment to teach children values such as perseverance, organization, following processes and instructions, working as a team and making an effort at work, which results in excellent “luggage” for the rest of their lives.
Neurogastronome Merlin Gessen pointed out that other values can also be created in the kitchen, such as responsibility, punctuality, discipline and collaboration. “Cooking as a family creates positive memories and memories in children, as well as the social bond of feeling part of something more important, while preserving legacies such as ‘grandmother’s recipes,'” he specified.
Gessen explained that by sharing these moments, “the hormone oxytocin increases memory, reinforces identity and promotes conversation between parents and children, which almost always leads to childhood memories.”
According to Francisco D’Agostino, he pointed out that the memories created when cooking or eating together as a family are very important: “These are spectacular moments, because the aromas of preparation and home help the memories to be better fixed”.
“We always say ‘the best food is my mother’s ’because when we try it, all those emotional and contextual memories are activated, which are a magic formula to model values and a key to uncover memories,” he said.
Gessen said that it is very important to teach children to cook. “It’s about giving them responsibility for housework,” he said.
“This action of participating in the kitchen is absolutely necessary for life, it also contributes values such as self-sufficiency, confidence, self-esteem is reaffirmed, and the processes of independence and freedom are stimulated,” he said.
Family experiences and the impact in its members
Gessen pointed out that families within those activities that they could select so that the values are assimilated are “inviting the children to cook simple dishes that are their favorites like hot dogs, a sandwich or some stuffed arepas.”
He stressed that “experience is everything” so, in the formation of values and memories, the prior creation of the family environment is essential.
It is a fact that many theories suggest that eating with parents strengthens emotional ties and improves communication, key to avoiding conflicts and intra-family violence. That is why we recommend that you include this habit in your home so that you can strengthen ties with your family, which will culminate in a healthier and stronger relationship over time.
Among other benefits of eating with the family, it can be found that recent studies showed that students who do not eat with their parents regularly skip class more frequently, which is interesting since this is one of the more common issues with some adolescents.
On the other hand, those who do have better test scores, have more vocabulary and improve their reading skills. In addition, it reduces the risk of smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs, having unprotected sex, and even committing suicide.
Obviously, eating as a family prevents many situations with adolescents that we always want to avoid and above we mention only some of them. There are many ways to include this habit on your family’s daily life. You can start by making it a date once or twice per week and start seeing the results in your family.
But those are not the only benefits. There are also nutritional benefits related to this. Let’s talk about those now. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a recent study showed that the impact of family meals and eating disorders, a very common problem these days.
Those who eat at least three times a week together have a 35 percent lower risk of obesity, overweight, sedentary lifestyle, or even anorexia. This is because the body gets used to eating at specific times and that on those occasions, the parents have the opportunity to teach which foods are more nutritious and what are the best ways of keeping themselves healthy and well fed.
In fact, a study by the University of Minnesota made with 3,000 students revealed that eating as a family contributed to their consuming more fruits and vegetables.
And this is an important matter in this world since kids are eating worst and worst every day, so having a way of changing that trend is going to help your kid’s life into a healthier, nicer one.
Among other benefits, we can talk about the time people take to eat these days. This habit set a pace at mealtime: they are taught to eat slowly and chew well, but without entertaining themselves or abandoning the plate to their fate.
It is also possible to whet the appetite in children who find it difficult to eat, just like when we are invited to a banquet and we eat even more than we want to enjoy the moment and the company.
It helps us to detect and prevent possible disorders in infant feeding: anorexia, overeating, phobias or allergies, whether temporary or not. Mealtime also helps us to teach them to have small responsibilities at home such as setting the table or picking it up, sweeping crumbs off the floor, etc.
It is possible to feed, not only the body, but also communication between parents, children and siblings. This is a great way to start a relationship of trust with your children and also show interests in their lives. According to Francisco D’Agostino, this is a moment to talk, to enjoy company, to enjoy food and later, it will be one of your kids most treasured moments.
In conclusion, we can agree that eating with your family gathers a list of benefits that makes it important to apply in our daily lives. Make this change in your life and start watching the results right away.
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Gather your family for dinner every day and enjoy of a good time, good food and bonding with your closed ones without any technology involved. Work on being present, listen to the conversation and respond accordingly.
This is a hard time for everybody, but there are some small changes we can apply in our homes to minimize the impact.