Does your family practice the habit of having a meal together at the dining table in Singapore? Or do you eat separately – infront of the TV, in the room or at the table? Even if you’re eating together at the table, are you focusing on your mobile phone or on the TV, multi-tasking while you eat? Research has shown that multi-tasking while you eat is bad for your health. When you are eating and doing other things at the same time, your brain won’t be able to give full attention to those two tasks, resulting in overeating. Your digestion will be affected as well – which means the nutrients from the food you eat won’t be absorbed well into your body.
Often, families in Singapore eat separately. When the kids are grown up, it can be even tougher to come together to have a meal at the dining table due to different schedules.
Having a meal together is not simply just about the food, but also the conversations that happen over meals which creates a bonding time when each family member shares about their day whether it’s been good or bad. As the saying goes, a family that eats together stays together.
Other than building good family ties, here are 5 other reasons why you should start having meals together as a family!
1. Portion control
Having meals together is a good chance for the parents to monitor the child’s portion, Are they overeating? Or are they not eating enough? If they are not eating enough, try to include other foods to make the dish more appealing, or change the ingredient of the list. If they are overeating, cut down on the portion or increase the portion of vegetables and protein while cutting down on carbs.
2. Saves money
Everyone knows that having homecooked meals is cheaper than buying take-out foods, but in today’s society where both the parents are working, it becomes increasingly normal to have take-out foods for dinner. Unless you have a maid at home to cook meals or engage the service of food caterers, buying take-out food is often the most convenient and cost-saving solution for dual-income couples. Other than that, you don’t have to pay for GST or service charge when you dabao the food home instead of eating at the restaurant. So whether your family cooks or buy take-outs, having dinner at home together definitely will help save some bucks!
3. Relieves stress
When you have a meal together with your family, it creates an opportunity for everyone to share about their day or their concerns. Talking about their concerns or as simple as sharing their day helps to relieve stress when they know that there is someone there who can listen to them, leading to better mental health. Create a no-handphone rule during mealtimes and also keep the TV off!
4. Build memories
Is there hardly anytime to get away on a short vacation as a family? It really doesn’t matter where you go or where you are as long as everyone is present in the moment and is having a good time – and fond memories are often created over meals! It might be that good time you had with your family over a Christmas meal on that extendable dining table in Singapore or when you had a simple but heartwarming homecooked meal for your birthday.
5. Healthier life
Eating with your family at the dining table also ensures that everyone eats healthier – especially with your mom nagging you to take more veggies so that you have a well-balanced meal or serving dishes cooked with less salt and sugar.