Sharing is caring

In many countries, mealtime is considered sacred and your day is scheduled around finding time to connect across a dish with family and friends.   As hosts, you have committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our students and having the opportunity to eat with their host family and debrief the day is an important part of the experience.   This is now supported by the newest version of Canada’s Food Guide  as where, what, and how we eat is taking center stage.

The simplified guide provides easy to follow advice for every day eating. Major changes include a shift towards more plant-based protein, increased vegetable intake, and water as the drink of choice.   It also allows application for a variety of cultural foods.

So what are the benefits of eating together?

  • Breaks down barriers – people are more inclined to view those of different races and socioeconomic backgrounds as equal when sharing a meal together (Alice Julier, Eating Together)
  • Increased academic performance
  • Better self-esteem and lower risk of depression
  • Healthier food choices into adulthood

Whilst eating together has been on the decline for most North American families, the science says that there’s both a physical and psychological impact when we don’t.

Check out some of these statistics:

  • Students who don’t eat with their parents regularly are twice more likely to be absent from school (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)

  • Children are 40 percent more likely to be overweight

  • Increased likelihood of drug use, alcohol use, and depression

  • The table has always been seen as a place of community and connection throughout the world.

Eating together with the family benefits not just the student, but the entire family!  Make it a point to eat together at least 3 times a week.