The Magic Of Mealtime Bonding: Why Eating Together With Kids Matters

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The Magic Of Mealtime Bonding: Why Eating Together With Kids Matters
The Magic Of Mealtime Bonding: Why Eating Together With Kids Matters

Are you looking to conquer the ultimate challenge of getting your little rascals to devour those oh-so-healthy vegetables? Well, here's a cheeky secret: you must lead by example! Just imagine sitting at the table, munching on some glorious greens, and your little ones watching in awe, thinking, "Wow, Mom/Dad is the ultimate veggie-eating champion!" In a recent survey involving 2,000 parents with kids aged six and under, 53% of them reported witnessing their precious munchkins gobbling down unwanted vegetables to copycat their heroic parental figures.

Isn't that amazing? It's like they're saying, "Hey, if Mommy and Daddy can do it, so can I!" Talk about some serious veggie-imitation skills. Furthermore, a whopping 78% of the surveyed parents claimed that their little angels learned their table manners from none other than...

drumroll, please... THEM! That's right, folks. Your mini-me's are like adorable little sponges, soaking up every move you make at the dinner table.

Building Stronger Bonds

A super exciting survey conducted by the awesome folks at OnePoll (on behalf of Stokke) has some mind-blowing results!

Can you believe that 82% of parents think their children must join them at the same table during mealtime? Talk about family togetherness! And 80% of these parents mentioned that chowing down with their kids is one of their absolute favorite ways to form that special bond.

How heartwarming is that? Pass the tissues, please.

Now comes the fun part. These parents spilled the beans (pun intended) about their mealtime adventures. You won't believe when they started feeding their precious munchkins solid food.

It's a toss-up between 6 and 12 months, but that's not all. They didn't fully synchronize their meal schedules until their little ones were between 13 and 23 months old. The suspense must have been unbearable!

But once they finally got on the same page about mealtimes, these parents became more laid-back.

Forget about making different dishes for themselves and their little food critics because 75% of these culinary superheroes decided to eat the same foods together. What a win for simplicity and family harmony!

The Kitchen Table: More Than Just A Place To Eat

Almost half of people have discovered the magical art of killing two birds with one stone.

Yep, 48% of them never make separate meals for themselves and their kids! Talk about efficient parenting and saving time in the kitchen. It's like hitting the jackpot of multitasking.

You might think that sitting around a proper dining or kitchen table for meals is becoming a thing of the past, right? Well, think again!

While fewer people (about 72%) consider having meals at a designated table essential, guess what? That good ol' kitchen table still holds a special place in our hearts when it comes to bonding time. It's like a secret power spot, ranking right up there with bedtime (which we all know is prime bonding time).

So, in the words of the wise Johanne Smith-Nielsen, Associate Professor Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist at the University of Copenhagen, "Every interaction is a window of opportunity for learning and development." Who knew that a simple mealtime routine could be a hidden treasure trove of family connections and growth? Food for thought, huh?

Mini-Me Talk: Children Mirroring Their Parents' Language

Children absorb everything you do, like little sponges.

It turns out that 70% of parents notice their children learn from their own behavior. That's right; your little ones watch your every move!

Now, let's talk about manners. You know, those magic words like "please" and "thank you?" Well, 42% of kids are picking up these polite gestures from their parents.

And hey, kudos to you because 42% of kids are also learning to eat with their mouths closed—no more food explosions at the dinner table. Oh, and let's not forget about utensils - 41% of kids are figuring out how to use them, all thanks to their amazing parents.

But there's more to reveal. Did you know that 73% of parents have heard their child using the same language as them? You guessed it; those chatterboxes are mimicking your words, even the fancy ones like "predicament" and "appropriate." They're also picking up common expressions like "thank you" and "excuse me."


  1. Using “please” and “thank you” - 42%
  2. Eating with their mouths closed - 42%
  3. Learning how to hold utensils - 41%
  4. Asking nicely for second servings - 39%
  5. Finishing what’s on their plate - 39%
  6. Letting others talk - 35%
  7. Not screaming - 34%
  8. Not burping - 29%
In fact, one parent mentioned, “I think that it’s so heartwarming when a child shows gratitude for the little things,” one parent said in open-ended response.

"It’s a great gift that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives”. How awesome is that?

Lastly, 81% of parents are fully aware that their conversations with their children make a real impact. That's huge!

So, every word you exchange with your little one matters at the dinner table or during playtime.

As the spokesperson from Stokke wisely said, “The table is where real growth occurs. It’s where we take the time to slow down, connect, listen, and learn from each other." They continued with saying, "Sitting together at eye level throughout childhood allows them to bond, connect, and form deeper relationships”.

Remember, parents; you're shaping the future—one conversation at a time. Keep up the amazing work!

*This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 American parents of children ages 0-6 was commissioned by Stokke between March 24 and March 30, 2023.

It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).