The benefits of eating with others

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I have many goals this summer—learning how to kayak, reading at least 25 books, running for 30 minutes a day, and… eating with others. When you look at this list, the first three may seem quite ordinary, but the last one stands out. While this idea may seem quite easy to achieve, it’s not. An average American eats about 387 meals alone per year, or about one-third of the meals eaten in a year. Although eating alone may seem harmless, it is much better to share the joy of eating with others. Here are three reasons why you should eat with others.

Learn about your loved ones

When eating with a friend or group, you naturally form a bond with them and have an understanding of their interests, likes, and dislikes. You hear about their experiences and the lessons they learned, which can make for great advice. Most importantly, you have the chance to learn about their problems and this helps you understand their behavior and why they make the decisions they do. It’s a way to heal a fractured relationship, strengthen a current one, or make new ones.

Better eating habits

When you eat with others, you tend to eat more slowly; since you are more focused on the conversation, you take smaller bites and listen more than you eat. Multiple studies show that metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, sugar, and body fat) is less common in those who eat with others most of the time. In addition, when you are a child, you absorb your family’s eating habits—so if your family practices healthy eating, the more likely you will too.

Exposed to different cultures and traditions

No matter where you come from, we all eat. Food acts as a bridge between people of different backgrounds, and helps expose you to different types of cuisines and styles of cooking. It helps you learn about their etiquette and superstitions, and opens your eyes to different traditions around the world.

Overall, eating with others has many advantages and is a time for communication and understanding.

Hansika is an eighth grade student at East Granby Middle School.