Home-cooked family dinner isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Home-cooked family dinner isn’t all it’s cracked up to be | The Washington Post, Brigid Schulte


 

This was our family dinner last week: I poured some leftover soup into a mug, heated it in the microwave, tossed a $20 bill at my kids and told them to order pizza or Thai food, and raced out the door to get to an evening event, drinking the soup in the car. My husband, too, was at an evening work event. I don’t know what he ate.Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 12.37.36 PM

According to a host of social science research, this is not only undesirable parenting behavior, but could very well put our kids at risk. Home-cooked family meals, lovingly prepared from scratch, usually by Mom, and joyously eaten together have been associated with a panoply of goodness for children: higher academic achievement and test scores, lower rates of obesity, depression, risky behavior and substance abuse and all-around happier and healthier lives. But what if the vaunted family dinner isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? What if, instead of bringing families together, the time, money and pressure to meal plan, shop, cook, satisfy picky eaters, get everyone around the table at the same time when schedules are chaotic and unpredictable is creating so much stress that it’s tearing families – or at least Mom – apart? Continue Reading…

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