Benefits of Bringing Baby to Mealtime

Baby doesn’t have to be in a big kid chair to join family mealtime at the dinner table. We’ve noticed there’s been a lot of talk recently about encouraging parents and children to have more regular meals together as a family.

Why all the chatter? Recently the Journal of Pediatrics reviewed 17 studies to look at the effects of family mealtime on children. The findings showed that children who regularly sit down with their parents for meals are more likely to have a healthy diet, be within the normal weight range, and less likely to engage in disordered eating. In addition, research shows benefits down the road, such as higher self-esteem and better performance at school.  But don’t worry if you’re schedule is hectic- these benefits were seen even if mealtime together consisted of just three times a week.

So why wait? Pull up the highchair and give baby a spot at the table early!

Graco has a number of great highchair options to do that in. Consider the Grow-with-Me series- these highchairs allow you to easily seat baby at the table beginning with first feedings. One of our favorites in the line is the Blossom 4-in-1 Seating System- it can be used in 4 different configurations, from infant feeding booster all the way up to youth chair. It even allows you to use it with two children at once! Plus it’s super stylish, so it will fit in easily in your kitchen or dining room. Check it out here.

Starting family mealtime earlier also gives baby the opportunity to watch and develop good eating habits early. Like how to use fork and spoon, and how delicious those veggies are (as I’m sure you are always eating them with a smile on your face :) ). It also shows off positive social skills, such as how to have healthy conversations. And most importantly- as a busy parent, it helps you maximize time spent with your little one.

Do you enjoy your meals together as a family? In today’s busy world, what tips do you have to help parents establish an easy routine of family meals together with their little ones?

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2 Responses to “Benefits of Bringing Baby to Mealtime”

  1. Sofia Green@baby shop April 26, 2012 at 1:08 am #

    I definitely agree with this article. I like the fact that you highlight the benefits of bringing our baby to mealtime. As a parent, we always want them to get the right nutrition that is meant for them. It is better if we also let them join family lunch or dinner regularly so they would feel that they are really in a nice place with happy family around.

  2. Rick Magennis May 10, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    Great article Michelle!

    My wife and I always have our daughter at the dinner table with us. We pull her highchair up and let her play with her toys, but the point being we are together as a family. Lately we have been feeding her the same time we are eating. We noticed that she became hysterical when we began to eat and she was just sitting there playing with toys. She loves to eat with us and we enjoy her company too. It is never a dull moment at the dinner table.

    We utilize the time together to also teach her how to hold a spoon and fork and also eat in moderation. As she gets older we hope to continue the family dinners and teach her more healthy eating lessons.