Family Dining

Research supports the idea that the “family that eats together stays together.” Statistics are showing that pre-teens and teenagers who sit down to eat with family five or more times per week have lower rates of smoking, drinking and drug use than children who eat with family twice a week or less. They also have higher grades, healthier diets and stronger bonds with adults. They are less likely to be depressed, consider suicide or develop eating disorders.

Researchers speculate one reason why family dinners benefit kids so significantly is because of the bonding that takes place at the table. Stories get shared, memories are re-lived, jokes are told, opinions are expressed and children learn that what they think, feel and do is important. Self-esteem grows, as does a sense of belonging and security.

At Pickering College, we’ve always known the role that belonging and security play in academic and personal excellence. Building a sense of community is part of the school’s mission and an important area where we build our community is around meal time. At most lunches, students dine ‘family style’ where students and teachers eat together.  In residence, students dine with their residence family. Often meals centre on a discussion topic, an event, celebration or restaurant style culturally-themed dinners. The school promotes eating mindfully and with gratitude by beginning meals with grace and a moment of silence. At Pickering College, we know that the benefits of family meals go far beyond basic nutrition.. Visit http://www.pickeringcollege.on.ca to learn more.