Family connectedness, particularly at meal times – excellent protective factor: The scientists are catching up – Research confirms what all community minded and family valuing people know. Family togetherness is a key to not only better health and well-being, but also building resilience into the emerging adult – resilience that can make it easier for them to avoid the substance use trap. (

“Eating dinner together at least 3 or 4 times per week has positive effects on child development and has been linked to children’s lower rates of overweight and obesity, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, depression, and eating disorders; higher self-esteem; and better academic performance. Eating family meals also has nutritional benefits. Families who eat dinner together eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer fried foods and sugary drinks. Family meals also help adults and children learn to like a variety of foods.” (Source: JAMA Paediatrics)