Nielsen came out with a fascinating report this week, a study revealing that more people are eating at home in the last year. Nielsen is calling “food” the social network of the ages:
When you think about it, isn’t food the real social network of the ages? Food is, and always has been, that special bonding agent that connects family and friends—with no electronic device necessary! Whether we gather for holiday celebrations, special occasions or the traditional family dinner, food, plain and simple, brings people together. And, as the U.S. economy experienced one of the worst downturns in recent history, consumers showed a renewed focus on back-to-basics in-home cooking.
I love it when people recognize the importance of relationships, including simple tasks like eating together. It seems like food is one of the common denominators that keeps surfacing when I talk about adults connecting with kids one-on-one (Connect).
Author/speaker Wayne Rice and I were talking about parenting a couple months ago– Wayne and I have both been writing articles for our new TheSource4Parents.com –and he mentioned an article he wrote recently about the disappearance of the family dining room. Wayne had read an article talking about how many people were converting their dining room into workout rooms or offices. After all- the dining room was the least used room in their house. Wayne noted what a tragedy this was… the decline in family meals.
Research reveals that families should make family dinners a priority. Columbia University’s study shows that those teenagers who have fewer than three family dinners per week are one and a half times likelier to report getting mostly C’s or lower grades in school; and teens who report these grades are likelier to smoke, drink and use drugs?
Maybe this down economy is just what families needed to get them back around the dinner table together.