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Modern families rarely eat at the dining table, most families walk into the kitchen, pick up their plate and walk straight to the couch, often in front of the television. While this can be interesting, it has its own disadvantage, especially because the children get use to this habit and spend longer eating, coupled with the fact that they do not learn good dinning habits which may be needed later in life.

I must confess, getting my little ones to eat at the dining table was not as easy as I envisage, sometimes I myself wish for the TV and dinner but I am resolute in ensuring that all meals are eaten at the table. Below are some reasons why I strongly advocate for eating all meals at the dining table.

  1. Family bonding time – eating meals together at the table enable family members to catch up on the day`s activities and share experiences; while some will argue that the same can be done while sitting on the couch, you will however agree with me that the eye to eye contact  and concentration that can be achieved at the Dining table cannot be achieved on the couch  
  2. Learning good table manners- Since we started to eat together as a family on the Dining table, it has given my husband and I an opportunity to teach our children simple table manners such as no elbows on the table, no talking with your mouth full, cleaning up after yourself, setting up the table e.t.c
  3. Shorten the eating time- Eating at the Dining table is a good way of reducing the time spent on eating. When children eat and watch TV at the same time, they tend to take longer time to finish their food, eating at the dining table will help reduce the time spent on eating.
  4. Breaking away from the T.V-With the level of addiction to screen, any opportunity to take the kids away from screen is welcomed. Eating at the Dining table  is one of such opportunity.

While some old age traditions are not relevant in today`s modern world, some are still, and eating on a dining is one of such good old traditions. It has more advantages than eating on the couch or on the bed.

Opinion piece by Ejemai Olayemi

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