In some households the family dinner is a regular occurrence. Research has documented many benefits from a family regularly sitting down to eat a meal together (not necessarily dinner or supper, but that's the meal that's most commonly eaten together as a family). Not surprisingly, there are also some difficulties and drawbacks.
A family dinner can be formal or informal, at home or a restaurant, immediate or extended family and a regular, daily event or special, occasional get-together.
In general, families that eat together regularly, eat more nutritiously, reduce mother's stress, improve children's grades.
In some cases, the food habits and pressures around food learned at the family dinner table can be bad or even dangerous, leading to problems like bulimia.
- Washington State University article on Background: Research on Family Meals part of an Eat Better; Eat Together site
- Wall Street Journal on Beyond Nutrition: The Benefits of Family Dinners
- Tips from the Nate Berkus show on how to Make Your Family Meal Special
- From Washington State University's Eat Better Eat Together, Make Your Family Meal A Special Event brochure