01 Nov
Pros of Eating Dinner as a Family
Cons of Eating Dinner as a Family
Your kids will love itIt can be hard to do
Helps push toward a healthier dinnerDinner time can easily be  whining 
Provides physical closenessDinner can be hard to prepare for
Helps parents find out what their kids are thinkingSometime no one has anything to say
Forces you to clear off the tableThe kitchen needs to be clean to some degree
It is fun to try new foods as a familyYou all eat the same thing
Great time to bring up unpleasant topicsSome of the family may not be hungry, during diner time

Our kids are young now, so it is easy to have the whole family sit down and have meals together. Kevin is always eating dinner with us, but sometimes we have the chance to eat 2 out of the three meals together as a family.

On the other hand, as a teenager, I remember commercials talking about the benefits of eating as a family. I thought it was dumb. Now looking back, I can look at both sides. So I have decided to write some pros and cons from an adult perspective and a busy teenager perspective.

Pros of Eating Dinner as a Family

  1. Our kids love eating together. Dinner time is a lot of fun as a family. The kids usually tell us their favorite part of their day. Then Kevin and I will talk about what is happening in our lives. It doesn't sound super exciting, but all of us look forward to dinner together!
  2. It pushes me to make a healthier dinner as I know we will be sitting down together. If I am the only one eating, I will throw something in the microwave and call it good. But because we are sitting down together, I want to make sure my kids and husband are eating well. Meal planning comes in handy. 
  3. Physical closeness. When asking Adalee why she liked dinner with the family, she said she loved to give Carbon hugs. It was cute and very accurate. Physical contact is a big part of staying together as a family. A hug or a pat on the back as you eat goes a long way.
  4. We can find out what our kids are thinking. Many fun teaching moments happen at the dinner table, small moments like asking us what a word means. Or when Addy asked us the other night why we don't drink alcohol. She is three but has questions, and I am glad I am there to answer them!
  5. Kevin has the chance to tell the kids what he is doing at school. It is fun to see the kids light up when they hear about doctor school. Telling your kids your dreams, I think, helps you bond a little more.
  6. Find out what individuals like to eat. It is fun to talk about what is good and bad about new meals as a family. Kevin and I love critiquing food and love that our kids give us feedback as well.   
  7. Eating becomes a physical and emotional necessity. Not only are you replenishing your body but also your emotional self as you reconnect with your family.
  8. It is fun to try new foods together as a family. I am big on having kids who are not picky eaters! They will eat artichoke chicken and asparagus. Some meals fail, but at least we tried it and will probably never forget it. 
  9. I tend to snack a lot less. It might just be me, but I want to be hungry for a fun dinner as a family. Which leads to less stress eating and weight gain.
  10. The kitchen table tends to stay clean. If you are eating together, you need the room to do so. At least once a day, the table needs to be cleared off to eat.  
  11. It is easier to bring up sore subjects over a piece of cake or pizza. Who will walk out of the room when a large slice of chocolate cake is in front of them? Using dinner to talk about the good and the bad is a stellar opportunity to communicate.

Cons of Eating Dinner as a Family

  1. As your family gets older, it is hard to find time to eat together. There is basketball, football, dance, music lessons, homework, and so on. Life gets CRAZY!
  2. Sometimes dinner is full of whining the whole time about everything! "STOP touching me! Mom, he isn't closing his mouth. Where is my water? I hate tomatoes! It is too hot. I am not hungry." Then repeat that a couple of times, and that is an average family dinner. 
  3. Sometimes no one has anything to say. I have heard of families with teens that have nothing to say during dinner. The culprit could be some form of screen, but it still can be frustrating!
  4. It takes hours of your time. Meal planning, schedule planning, shopping, dinner preparation, and getting everyone to sit down together. Is it worth the trouble?
  5. The kitchen has to be cleanish. I mentioned in the Pros the table needed to be cleaned off. I wish it magically did that. haha, but it doesn't... The dishes don't get rinsed off either unless you do it. Family dinner is complicated! 
  6. You all eat the same thing. If you have picky eaters, you have two options. One make six separate meals or two have lots of angry people. You choose...
  7. You may not be hungry when dinner is. I know Kevin sometimes takes a late lunch. So when dinner comes around, the kids are starving, and he is still full. At this point, it is hard to sit down and watch everyone else eat when you aren't hungry. Again, is it worth the hassle?

"Our goal is to help the world make decisions with a list of Pros and Cons. We invite all to add to our lists to help others make the most educated decision possible. We are all in this world together to help each other and learn from what others have learned from their lives journey." - Pros and Cons Team

Written By: Sarah 

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