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Family Dining

A Tufts University study, recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics on its website, found that when families didn't separate eating from other activities, particularly watching TV, kids consumed fewer fruits and vegetables and more junk food and soda.
According to one national organization's research, eating dinner together as a family is not only good for bonding between family members but also cuts down on teens' risks of alcohol and drug addiction. The Columbia University-based National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse has made the link between eating dinner as a family and teens' alcohol and drug addiction risk through analysis of eight years of results from an annual survey of teens. Center president Joseph Califano says the questions on the yearly survey of 12- to 17-year-olds have pointed to a clear pattern since the initial year of the study.

There are other reports like these pointing out the benefits of eating together as a family. While it may not be possible to do so at Breakfast or Lunch, parents must ensure that they eat Dinner with their kids, It should be a family meal. And that means there ought to be no room for a television in your dining area. Play soft music in the background if you must and spend this time talking top your children, keep abreast with their lives. Children need attention and discipline and this is an excellent way to ensure both,

But here’s a point of contention, just because we eat together does not mean we eat right: Domino's alone delivers a million pizzas on an average day. Just because we are sitting together doesn't mean we have anything to say: children bicker and fidget and daydream; parents stew over the remains of the day. Yet for all that, there is something about a shared meal, not once in a while but regularly, reliably--that anchors a family even on nights when the food is fast and the talk cheap and everyone has someplace else they'd rather be. And on those evenings when the mood is right and the family lingers, caught up in an idea or an argument explored in a shared safe place where no one is stupid or shy or ashamed, you get a glimpse of the power of this habit and why social scientists say such communion acts as a kind of vaccine, protecting kids from all manner of harm.

Make it a rigid rule in your household, a rule that cannot be contested by your children, that Dinners will always be a family affair. Your Children may crib, even your spouse may crib but over a course of time everybody will see that its an exercise in bringing up well grounded children. My father has a habit of announcing one hour in the evening as ‘Family Time’, which use to annoy me to no end because I almost always had somewhere else to be. Yet being put through that kind of exercise has inculcated a respect for such a culture in me and I think every family ought to assign ‘family time’