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The Importance of Family Mealtime



As a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers, it is a challenge to get a home-cooked dinner on the table at a reasonable time. Pulling the children away from their toys, getting them seated at the table, cutting up their meal, blowing on food that is too hot, and calling my husband away from his work can be exhausting. Then the challenge begins by making sure the little ones eat their nutritious meal while at the same time being grateful and happy about it!


After jumping up and down, back, and forth, tending to everyone’s needs, I scarf down my now-cold meal, clean up a messy kitchen, and often wonder to myself, “Is family mealtime worth it?”


The answer is a resounding YES! It is always worth it! My family is worth it! If mom (or dad) does not cook nutritious meals, who will? If mom (or dad) does not instill the importance of sit-down family dinner time, who will? Research shows that family mealtime is important for the overall mental and physical health of everyone.

My 3-year-old daughter loves to help me prepare dinner. She pulls up a chair and asks if she can help stir. I love that she is showing an interest in cooking! My children are still young, but they are learning so much at the dinner table. They learn about food and nutrition and table manners, but most importantly they learn how to give thanks to God for what He has provided.

Soon, they will be learning how to set and clear the table which teaches them the value of working as a family unit. As they get older family mealtime will be a time they cherish, just like I did with my family growing up. Mealtime provides opportunity for great conversation, and a place to connect and tell each other about their day.


Providing a nutritious meal for your family to come home to will make them feel accepted, appreciated, and loved no matter what might be going on in the world around them. Home is a place of refuge, and it often begins at the dinner table. Our children will feel loved and develop timeless, cherished memories of their childhood when we choose to make family mealtime a priority. Remember, it won’t always be easy, but your family is worth it!

Samantha Reyna

Mom to 2 toddlers and loving wife

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