Family meals have been credited with doing a lot for kids, from reducing the risk of substance abuse and eating disorders to teaching healthy eating habits to fostering good relationships with parents. Turns out it's not just good for kids—parents also benefit from having family dinners. A new study showed parents had more successful and optimistic outlooks on their professional careers if they made it home in time for dinner.

A tip for successful family meals: Keep it simple. Just because it's a home-cooked meal doesn't mean you need to whip out your chef's hat—it's less about the meal than the communal aspect. As the Slate piece aptly puts it: "Regularity matters. Maybe the family dinner is all about getting into a rhythm: a steady drumbeat of mess, munching, and musing."

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