What are the benefits of dining with friends and family?

What are the benefits of dining with friends and family

Life is hectic, and it’s often hard to find the time to sit down with one another to enjoy a proper meal. Grabbing a supermarket sandwich to gulp down at your desk, or eating dinner in front of the telly on the sofa, might be quick and easy, but it also means you miss out on the energy-giving benefits of enjoying a meal with friends and family.

To cultivate better eating habits, we encourage you to spend more time eating meals, not less. Below, we share the benefits of eating together and the positive impact it can have on your mental and physical health. From choosing healthier options to making memories that last, here’s why you should consider enjoying your next meal with a mate.

1. Eating together makes you feel good

There is a reason that humans have been sharing communal meals since time immemorial. Spending time together, or in this case eating together, makes you feel good. Interacting and socialising are key parts of being human, whether that’s talking, laughing, or simply spending time in each other’s company.

Having a meal with your family and friends is a great way to boost your mood. Want to feel better? Invite some mates over to eat.

Dining together outside in Italy with friends

2. It can help strengthen relationships

In addition to the personal benefits of dining with others, it also offers the opportunity to develop both new and existing relationships. Taking the time to talk, laugh, share stories, and enjoy each other’s company over a delicious meal can be hugely enriching.

In fact, why not go one step further and book yourself a cooking holiday this year? Our dedicated Italian cooking holidays to Italy are a brilliant way to learn about new recipes and connect with others, whether you’re visiting with a friend or are looking to meet new people. Learn how to cook authentic recipes with a group of like-minded individuals, then enjoy them together in a beautiful Italian setting – what’s not to love?

Spending quality time with friends over the dinner table

3. It encourages mindful eating

Staring at a screen or watching TV while you eat often means you aren’t fully aware of eating the meal in front of you. Eating with people, instead, means you’re more likely to focus on the food, perhaps by discussing it with others or complimenting the cook on the meal. You’re also more likely to eat slowly, as you chat and listen to everyone at the table. This has the added benefit of helping with digestion while giving you the time to appreciate the meal in front of you.

Although it can depend on the person, you might find it easier to make healthier food choices when dining in a group, as well as avoid overeating. If you’re dining with little ones, then offering healthy options and choosing

Eating with friends can lead to healthy eating habits

4. It’s an opportunity to learn new recipes

When you have new people over for a meal, or dine with your family, you might find that your meal horizons are expanded. Meeting and eating with different people is a great way to learn new recipes and discover ingredients you wouldn’t usually cook with. Equally, you might want to consider making something extra special if you’re inviting friends over for a dinner party. If it helps you get excited about cooking, that’s a good thing!

Finding new recipes from dining with friends

5. Dining together with friends and family can improve communication skills

It is much easier to have conversations at the dining table when eating dinner than rushing about. Socialising with friends and family can increase your sense of happiness and well-being which will impact your mental health a lot! It allows you to take a step back from everything and catch up with the people who mean the most to you.

Communication skills have improved from socialising with friends

5. Dining with friends and family can improve communication skills

It’s much easier to have conversations over a meal when you’re not distracted by anything else than it is if you’re rushing about. You’re able to properly focus on the conversation at hand, ask meaningful questions, and properly absorb what’s being said. Ultimately, it allows you to take a step back from everything and catch up with the people who mean the most to you. And you can’t put a price on quality time spent together.

Fine dining in a restaurant with family and friends

6. Eating out is fun!

One of the joys of life is being able to enjoy a special meal out with loved ones at a restaurant. While cooking at home is great, eating out occasionally allows you to switch up your routine and create lasting memories with friends over great food. There’s something so special about the ambiance of a restaurant, from the music to the service to what’s on the menu. You can’t beat it!

Tips on how to make eating together easier and more enjoyable

  • Book a catch-up with a friend at least a few days in advance so it’s in the diary. That way, it’s scheduled and you won’t miss it!
  • When it comes to family, make sure meal times spent together are a regular occurrence so everyone expects them.
  • Encourage the whole family to participate in planning and cooking weekly meals so they’re excited to eat together.
  • It’s not just dinner that has to be a communal occasion! Breakfast and lunch can be social occasions too.
  • Try introducing phone-free meal times so everyone is present.
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Flavours Blog

Food, Recipes, Lifestyle and Travel blog – by the Flavours Holidays team.