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Parenting Tips: No. 2

Jan. 29, 2018 -- The next in a continuing series of tip sheets for parents, provided by Grades 4-6 math teacher Judith Walsh at Driver Middle School:

“What’s for dinner?” you are asked on a daily basis. But,did you know gathering around the table is just as important as what is served?
According to the American College of Pediatricians (May, 2014), “When families share meals together everyone benefits--the children, parents, and even the community.”

Eating meals together as a family has many benefits including
  • Academic: Teens who have dinner with their families are likelier to get better grades in school.
  • Language Development is enhanced: children are hearing longer discussions and expand their vocabulary as they hear new words being said.
  • Healthy Nutrition: Children ages 9-14 who have more regular dinners with families have more healthful dietary patterns, and will eat more fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
  • Less Television Watching
  • Decreased risk of drug, alcohol, and nicotine use: Teens who have fewer family dinners are two and a half times more likely to use marijuana, twice as likely to use alcohol, and four times more likely to use tobacco.
  • Decreased other high risk behaviors: Teens who had more frequent family dinners were less likely to experience depression.
  • Less emotional stress: Teens with frequent family dinners had fewer emotional and behavioral problems, were more trusting, and more helpful toward others.
So, next time you are asked, “What’s for dinner?” Pull the chairs up to the table and share a meal with the family!

Source: Anderson, J., Trumball, D. (May 2014). The benefits of the family table, American Academy of Pediatricians, (pgs. 1-3). Retrieved from

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