Importance of Family Meals

Different meals served during different occasions have different significance to individuals or family members. Mealtime has been and is still an essential occasion in my family. A chance to learn the origin of some of the food and their cultural importance is a thrilling feeling. Mealtime has created some unforgettable memories in my life. Some of the meals are prepared concerning cultural values, making them stand out. In this paper, I will discuss my favorite meal that I have drawn memories that are dear to me. I will also discuss the role this meal has played in shaping up my life on my journey that is continuing to adulthood.

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Cultural diversities explain why people eat different foods at a particular time. People take meals in different moments and different times to serve a specific purpose depending on the occasion or need. Balanced diet specialists, however, give vital advice to people on what to eat at what time. Breakfast as the first meal of the day makes people consider it the most important meal (Gibney et al. 559). The argument is that it provides the energy needed to carry out the day’s activities without much struggle. Breakfast may be an essential meal due to numerous health merits that enable people to start their day with a positive mentality (Bates et al. 720). I hold a different opinion in that a family meal is more important to me than breakfast. I am therefore more attracted to family meals, which I find more important. Family meals have numerous other benefits other than nutrition.

To come together as a family and share a meal has a positive influence on the psychological well-being of people. Mental stability is delicate, especially on teenagers like me, who need to mature in positively as expected by society (Tileaga et al.). Most families serve breakfast together, which creates a good relationship and togetherness among family members. Breakfast served as a family meal gives growing up children a chance to learn from adults how best to prepare for the day psychologically. Breakfast being a meal that is served early in the morning, increase chances that most, if not all, members of the family are present (Golden et al.). In the morning, everyone is fresh mentally and physically, which creates a conducive environment bonding of family members and establishing a sense of belonging while having breakfast.

Passing cultural values and family history from one generation to another is essential in society. Knowing my roots and learning the old way of living of my ancestors has been appealing to me. Family meals have provided a perfect opportunity for me to learn the culture and how to preserve the values my ancestors have held dear (Vik and Frøydis 200). The food we eat has some cultural values attached to it, and knowing these values makes me appreciate the food more every time people serve it. With so much to learn, family meals are a lively session that makes me enjoy the meal creating unforgettable memories. Appetite for food is essential because one has to be able to eat the right amount of food, and these cultural stories put me in the right mood to eat. Every family eating session has been an enjoyable one. I, therefore, owe my good health to family meals.

Family meals are an ideal place for learning good table manners and help children learn excellent communication skills. Sharing a family meal enables children to have some quality time with the family, and hence this aids in family bonding. For instance, dinner is served in the evening when every family member is present. Therefore, having dinner as a family meal allows every member of the family to narrate their encounters during the day if they feel like sharing. Besides, Family meals help children in the family to be exposed to different kinds of foods; hence, this makes them experience different tastes. Hence, helping them not to be choosy if served different kinds of foods. Those that may have encountered misfortunes get encouragement and advice on how to keep going. Children in the family learn from these stories on how and when to express themselves within the family. Getting a chance to talk among adults is an experience that holds great value to my life. Some of the abilities and talents I have I discovered through family meal sessions. My observant family members also help me know some of the good things I am good at and had not realized. I credit the family meals for good table manners and the better communication skills I have today.

Having a family meal is advantageous because it relates to nutritional health among adolescents and children. Studies have shown that families that share great mealtime have a better chance of raising healthier children than those that rarely share mealtime (Flattum et al., 53). Equally, family meals allow children to regard their parents as their role models since these meals enable parents to give advice to their kids and teach them good mannerisms. Public health and educational initiatives should seek to promote family meals to improve the health of adolescents and children. Advising parents to embrace family meals solve health issues related to overweight, disordered eating, and consumption of unhealthy food among children. Family meals ensure that children consume the right type and amount of food regularly. Sharing mealtime with my family has been a joy as a teenager because it has provided me with an opportunity to learn and enjoy my childhood

Financially, having meals together as a family is a cost-saving exercise. Food wastage is minimal during family meals because everyone consumes just enough. The spirit of sharing ensures that no one in the family goes hungry, which enhances togetherness (Tileagă, Cristian, and Stokoe). Resources are limited, which necessitates the need for everyone to learn how to make good use of the limited available resources (Rienecke and Renee, 69). Sharing ensures nothing goes waste, and everyone gets a fair share of the available food. A balanced diet is necessary for the proper functioning of the body. People serve different types of food during family meals, which makes it easier to achieve a balanced diet. Fresh fruits are made available during family meals, which are good sources of natural sugars. Family meals are therefore god to complete a balanced diet while saving on costs through sharing

Obesity has been a challenge for growing children because of poor feeding habits. Grownups have equally struggled to maintain the weight balance of their body, leading to some being overweight (Golden et al.). Overweight can cause disorders, which can cause serious health issues such as high blood pressure (Fulkerson 154). Obesity and overweight problems can be appropriately managed by having frequent family meals (Sigman-Grant et al. 670). Family meals have helped me consume the right amount of food at the right time. Proper feeding habits have made it easy to avoid struggles of keeping my body in shape.

The family meal is the perfect venue to notice a child that is developing unacceptable behavior. A simple form of indiscipline, such as not observing table manners, can lead to a child being uncontrollable when they are grownups (Rienecke and Renee, 69). Growing up as a child, I have taught significance to have good table manners during family meals as a way of showing respect to those who prepared the food (Horning et al., 954). My parents have had a chance to put me on the right track whenever I went astray during family meals. Family meals have given me precious and valuable memories because of the care I get from my parents and everyone else during these meals. That is why they are the most vital meals in my life.

In conclusion, family meals are essential across all aspects of life, ranging from health to behavioral. Without family meals, I would not have learned how to socialize properly and behave as expected by society. I have developed a belief in my abilities, thanks to these family meals. Everyone who wishes to see a community of well-behaved and properly fed individuals must embrace family meals regularly. The constant increase in population that depends on diminishing resources makes it necessary for people to use the available resources sparingly. Family meals are, therefore, essential to me because a significant number of people can be fed using little food available. Therefore, everyone is kept happy and healthy.

 

Works cited

Bates, C. R., et al. “Links between the organization of the family home environment and child obesity: a systematic review.” Obesity Reviews 19.5 (2018): 716-727.

Flattum, Colleen, et al. “HOME Plus: Program design and implementation of a family-focused, community-based intervention to promote the frequency and healthfulness of family meals, reduce children’s sedentary behavior, and prevent obesity.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 12.1 (2015): 53.

Fulkerson, Jayne A., et al. “Promoting healthful family meals to prevent obesity: HOME Plus, a randomized controlled trial.” International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 12.1 (2015): 154.

Gibney, Michael J., et al. “Breakfast in human nutrition: The international breakfast research initiative.” Nutrients 10.5 (2018): 559.

Golden, Neville H., Marcie Schneider, and Christine Wood. “Preventing obesity and eating disorders in adolescents.” Pediatrics 138.3 (2016): e20161649.

Horning, Melissa L., et al. “Family dinner frequency interacts with dinnertime context in associations with child and parent BMI outcomes.” Journal of Family Psychology 31.7 (2017): 945.

Rienecke, Renee D. “Family-based treatment of eating disorders in adolescents: current insights.” Adolescent health, medicine, and therapeutics 8 (2017): 69.

Sigman-Grant, Madeleine, et al. “Family resiliency: A neglected perspective in addressing obesity in young children.” Childhood Obesity 11.6 (2015): 664-673.

Tileagă, Cristian, and Elizabeth Stokoe, eds. Discursive psychology: Classic and contemporary issues. Routledge, 2015.

Vik, Frøydis N., et al. “Regular family breakfast was associated with children’s overweight and parental education: Results from the ENERGY cross-sectional study.” Preventive medicine 91 (2016): 197-203.