Whether you are trying to get closer with your significant other, family, or friends, eating together is a great way to do it. We are craving closeness in this digital day and age especially. Our many forms of communication should be contributing to a feeling of closeness, but many people report feeling less intimacy than ever and this sensation is inevitably affecting our culinary lives too. It is reported that the average American eats one in every five meals in their car, one in four Americans eats at least one fast food meal every single day and the majority of American families report eating a single meal together less than five days a week. In this era, we feel like we can expedite everything- communication, food, transportation, shopping, banking- but you can’t rush love.
But not only are our rushed, isolated eating habits a shame, they also have some pretty negative outcomes. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that students who do not regularly eat with their parents are significantly more likely to be truant at school. Truancy has a global average of affecting 15 percent of students, but in those who do not eat with their families, the rate was doubled, affecting 30 percent of school-age kids, on a global level. Eating together doesn’t only affect children on a social level, but a physiological one as well, as it teaches kids healthy eating habits at a young age, habits that contribute to a more positive sense of health and a normal weight. It has been derived that kids who do not eat dinner with their parents at least twice a week were 40 percent more likely to be overweight compared to those who do. Additionally, children who regularly eat with their family have reportedly less trouble with drugs and alcohol, eat healthier, show better academic performance and report being close with their parents.
This shift away from the dinner table is symbolic of the rushed, albeit productive, society we live in. As Americans we rarely grant ourselves pleasure over productivity (just look at the fact that the average American works nearly 220 hours more per year than the average Frenchman and a number of other societies with more down time). And though there are many benefits to our fast-paced society, it has taken from our family lives. So how do we fix this dilemma in a day and age where one parent staying at home to cook is an entirely antiquated notion? Many families can’t afford to have one parent stay home from work, spending his or her day cleaning and cooking a roast and side of potatoes for the spouse and kids. Instead of putting consistent expectations on changing our family life to look like that which was displayed in “Leave it to Beaver,” we must prioritize what we can. Seeing eating together not as another appointment on a busy schedule, but rather as an opportunity to de-stress, a chance to catch up with those whom we love. And it doesn’t always have to be in the form of a sit-down dinner: appreciating the get-togethers and events your family is together at is also a good start. A great way to de-stress these occasions is by hiring a caterer to do the work for you! Check out Catering CC today and let us help you bond over delicious food at your next event.