Roy Ortega of Gallery Furniture makes family meals a priority at home. It’s a lesson he learned growing up in a tight-knit family in Houston. And it’s a lesson that he’s seen repeated in his trips to Amish country in recent years, on behalf of Gallery Furniture.
Ortega’s job is to source the high-quality, solid-wood furniture that many Houstonians have come to desire and expect from Gallery Furniture.
“In visits to the Amish community, I’ve enjoyed many meals with local craftsmen and their families. I’ve seen how family meals help strengthen family members,” Ortega says.
In fact, Ortega’s remark is more than just a casual observation, because the benefits of family meals have been so well documented.
According to a study by Dr. Catherine Snow of Harvard, family meals produce smarter children.
Snow studied a group of families over 15 years, and discovered that mealtime conversation were critical for language development and other social skills.
In another study, Dr. Blake Bowden of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital found that family meals nurture well-adjusted children, who are less likely to smoke, drink, or take drugs later in life.
Bowden found that, “Mealtimes were a sort of ‘marker’ for other positive family attributes,” and that teens who ate meals regularly, with at least one adult family member, were “less likely to do drugs or be depressed and were more motivated at school and had better relationships.”
Family meals also help children who experience bullying and cyber-bullying, according to JAMA Pediatrics.
The study found that children communicate their problems better in families where mealtime provides a time for open communication.
Family mealtime becomes an occasion when parents can look for signs of trouble, ask about the child’s day, and help the child deal with difficulties he or she may be facing.
Family meals also produce children who feel connected to family, who are emotionally content, and who work hard, according the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
The studies found that children who eat family meals experience stronger family ties and a greater sense of belonging.
Finally, family meals allow children to eat healthier than they would otherwise, according to a study by Dianne Sztainer at the University of Minnesota.
The study found a direct connection between family meals and the healthiness of the food the children ate. Other studies show a similar connection between family mealtime and reduced obesity, in children and in adults.
How can you bring these benefits to your household? It all begins with making family mealtime a priority for your entire family.
Gallery Furniture is proud to be family-owned. And this is a big reason why we’re so happy to offer high-quality, solid-wood furniture, handcrafted in the best family tradition. This is just one way we live out our values here at Gallery Furniture. And it’s one way we can help you bring those values home to your family.
Given all the benefits of family mealtime to you and your family, we believe it’s worth it to make dinnertime, family time.