Children Who Eat With Their Families Grow Up To Be More Considerate

In a world of Seamless and sad desk lunches, traditional sit-down family dinners can sometimes seem at odds with contemporary life.

We often eat our meals on the go or in front of the screen — nearly 20 percent of snacks and meals in America are eaten in the car, according to In Defense of Food author Michael Pollan.

But it isn’t just nostalgia for the pre-convenience era that should get us to the table: Children who grow up sharing meals are more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior as adults, according to a Belgian study published in the journal Appetite.

University of Antwerp researchers hypothesized that children who did not engage in family meals and instead ate in more solitary contexts may not have had the opportunity to learn rules about sharing, fairness and respect. To test this hypothesis, the researchers surveyed 466 students in Belgium, asking them about how frequently they ate home-cooked family meals during childhood. Secondly, they had the subjects complete self-reports about their level of altruistic behavior. People who shared family meals more often as children grew up to be more considerate, altruistic adults. In particular, they were —> Read More Here


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