Family dinner time: an important diachronic value!!

Family dinner time: an important diachronic value!!

The modern way of life, our demanding schedules and alienation, have led to the extinction of a very important habit that characterized the Greek family: the gathering of  all family members for dinner. A habit, which, behind from its typical form, was covering very essential values.Those of communication, socialization, maintaining respect for the hierarchy of the family (father, mother, children), and the division of labor within the home.


For children, family dinner has two very important purposes:

  • Educational: The families' dinner is a real "life exercise" for the child, a place of exchanging feelings, opinions and attitudes. Eating together means that we help to "taste" the special family atmosphere created at mealtimes. Enhanced self confidence and better communication skills are the profit for children who speak at the family dinner table, according to the British Institute of Literacy. The study had been performed in questionnaire formation to children aged 6-18 years in 188 schools. The results are illuminating: 62% of the children sitting at the table and discussing with their family during the meal are more confident compared to 47% of children who are eating in silence and to 52% of children who do not sit at all in the table. Furthermore, 75% of children participating in family dinner felt is easier to participate in classroom discussions. Correspondingly, the same comfort in class feels just 57% of children who may sit at the family table, but do not discuss, and worse of all are the children who do not sit at all on the table, with 64%. So chat and communication between family members and less television and alienation.
  • Proper nutrition: As reported by scientists of the American Institute of Nutrition, studies showed that when children eat almost every day with the rest of the family, are 45% more likely to follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization's consumption of 400 grams of fruit and vegetables per day. Also, the results of the Greek study GRECO (Greek Childhood Obesity Study, 2012) showed that the more parents are involved in children's meals, the better eating habits those children acquire. Moreover, these children have lower rates of obesity. In those family meals make sure there is a variety of simple and healthy dishes that give children the opportunity to try new flavors.


Try to be with the children in a dining table at least once a day (e.g. during breakfast or dinner on weekdays, and on Sunday's lunch). With good will and good organization, the right principles and values that used to tie together the old traditional Greek families, can be emulated as habits in today's contemporary era.


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