Eating as a family is not only good for your physical health, it also has psychological and emotional benefits. A study has found that teenagers who regularly eat with their parents were more self-confident, helpful, trusting and more satisfied with life than those who tended to dine alone. The more frequently a family ate together, the more emotionally stable children were. Researchers say family mealtimes are an opportunity to talk and share problems and experiences, and for parents to pass on advice.
It is thought the social contact also aids in setting boundaries on behaviour and helps children feel valued. Researchers from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, surveyed more than 25,000 boys and girls aged between 11 and 15 about their eating habits and their emotional wellbeing.