Institute for Prevention of Addictions FREQUENT FAMILY MEALS

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Institute for Prevention of Addictions FREQUENT FAMILY MEALS PROTECT OUR CHILDREN Presented by: (add

Institute for Prevention of Addictions FREQUENT FAMILY MEALS PROTECT OUR CHILDREN Presented by: (add presenter name here) Written by Alina Baltazar, Katherine Conopio, Gary Hopkins, Duane C. Mc. Bride Institute for Prevention of Addictions Andrews University, Berrien Springs From Revival and Reformation: Building Family Memories

LEARNING OBJECTIVES Improve awareness of the importance of frequent family meals. Develop a plan

LEARNING OBJECTIVES Improve awareness of the importance of frequent family meals. Develop a plan to implement more regular family meals.

THE THREAT TO FAMILY MEALS n n Family gatherings around the table have been

THE THREAT TO FAMILY MEALS n n Family gatherings around the table have been common throughout human history. These days families are slowly drifting apart for many reasons: n n n Demanding jobs Extra-curricular activities Modern communication Multiple forms of media This is a sad situation because research has found that frequent family dinners can protect our youth from a number of dangerous situations and experiences. Group Discussion n Have the group report what they think interferes with family meals in this modern world.

HOW FAMILY MEALS HELP OUR CHILDREN n n n Leads to lasting emotional bonds

HOW FAMILY MEALS HELP OUR CHILDREN n n n Leads to lasting emotional bonds between parents and children. Gives children a place to discuss problems and solutions with parents. A place to form traditions that unite the family and give children stability and routine.

IMPROVED SOCIAL AND MENTAL STABILITY n Higher self-esteem n Less depression n Decreased self-mutilation

IMPROVED SOCIAL AND MENTAL STABILITY n Higher self-esteem n Less depression n Decreased self-mutilation n Lower rates of suicide ideation and attempts n Lower rates of obesity n Make better nutritional food choices

WHAT DO TEENS THINK OF FAMILY DINNERS? n n n Many think young people

WHAT DO TEENS THINK OF FAMILY DINNERS? n n n Many think young people don’t enjoy these kind of activities. Studies have found that 79% of teens enjoy dining with their family. The social aspect of family dinners is enjoyed by 65% of teens and 75% of parents, even reporting they would give up a weekend activity to make it a priority.

GROUP ACTIVITY n n Reminisce about your positive memories around family dinners from your

GROUP ACTIVITY n n Reminisce about your positive memories around family dinners from your childhood. What did you enjoy about your family meals as a child?

CHALLENGES OF THE TEEN YEARS n n n Teen years is a time of

CHALLENGES OF THE TEEN YEARS n n n Teen years is a time of exploration and identity development. This searching can lead to unhealthy and risky behaviors. Common risky behaviors for teens: n Use of alcohol, tobacco, substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, eating disorders, delinquent behavior, and self-harm.

DECREASED HEALTH RISK BEHAVIORS n Having 5 meals per week reduces likelihood of: Alcohol

DECREASED HEALTH RISK BEHAVIORS n Having 5 meals per week reduces likelihood of: Alcohol use n Substance abuse n Early sexual participation n Teens away at college use less alcohol & less sexual activity n

SAFER CHILDREN n n n Less likely to be bullied at school Be slapped

SAFER CHILDREN n n n Less likely to be bullied at school Be slapped by a boy/girlfriend Date raped More apt to wear a seatbelt and Wear a bicycle helmet

HOW TO MAKE FAMILY DINNERS ENJOYABLE n n It should be a pleasant time

HOW TO MAKE FAMILY DINNERS ENJOYABLE n n It should be a pleasant time for everyone. Avoid conflict and criticism (this increases risk behavior). Serve savory and healthy food. Have everyone pitch in with the preparation and clean up.

WAYS TO FIT IT ALL IN n n n Be flexible with the time

WAYS TO FIT IT ALL IN n n n Be flexible with the time and location of your family meals. They can be at breakfast time or multiple times on the weekends. Make the table a no technology zone. Protect this special time with your family, don’t answer the phone. Get unplugged and enjoy!!! It may not happen every day, about 4/5 per week to see significant benefit.

GROUP DISCUSSION n n What are some ways that family meals can be more

GROUP DISCUSSION n n What are some ways that family meals can be more enjoyable for the whole family? When is a good time for your family to have more regular meals together?