The Importance Of Having “Family Dinners” In College

When’s the last time you stopped, put your phone down, and ate a meal in front of your real friends and not the cast of New Girl?

DinnerCall is an app with a mission to encourage just that – eating together with others. They believe in it so much, that they’ve started a campaign called the #BillionDinners challenge with the goal being, you guessed it, to encourage a billion dinners to be eaten together.

Eating a communal meal isn’t necessarily on the top of a busy college girl’s to-do list, but the benefits of pausing to eat a meal with people you love might convince you otherwise.

It’s Cheaper

The price of one Chipotle burrito compared to the price of store-bought chicken, rice, tortillas and veggies split 5 ways is pretty significant. You’re a poor college student, and although food is a necessity, saving those pretty pennies for your backpacking-through-Europe-fund is way more important right now than paying extra for guac.

It’s Healthier

After a full day of lectures, studying and club meetings, sometimes the only thing you want to do is drown yourself in Netflix and a few helpings of Ramen (which from time-to-time is totally necessary). But multiple studies have shown that turning off technology and sitting down for a meal with others can actually lead to reduced levels of stress.

Studies have also reported a lower chance of obesity and mental health issues in people who gather for group meals. While nothing is dreamier than sharing a nightly meal with Tim Riggins, it might not be the best for your mind, body or soul.

It Makes Monday Night Cocktails Acceptable

Who are we kidding? In college, Tuesday morning mimosas are acceptable. But after one of those days when you just need a drink and a big bowl of warm pasta, there’s nothing better than popping open a bottle of cheap red wine with your roomies and shutting your mind off of a school for a few precious moments (or glasses of vino).

You’ll Have Built-in Venting

Vent sessions. We all need them to stay sane in college. And sometimes a text or phone call can never quite describe the hilarious thing that happened in your COM class or truly explain why you’ve been feeling so homesick lately.

Whether you’re laughing so hard cheap wine comes out of your nose, or you’re finally getting off your chest something that’s been weighing on you for weeks now, meals with your friends have a way of turning into much-needed therapy sessions without even realizing it.

It’s An Excuse To Make New Friends

You’re not in high school anymore, but college can still sometimes get clique-y. What better way to spend more time with your cute lab partner or that girl who just transferred from another school than inviting them to your weekly friend dinner? College kids are rarely known to say no to free food, and a group meal is way less intimidating than a one-on-one dining situation.

Cause #Memories

By far, some of my most fond memories were spent giggling over Saturday morning bagels and coffee with my roommates, reminiscing about the night before. College goes by in a flash, and our generation is especially always on the go. But pausing to reflect and soak in what’s happening at the moment is beyond important.

Trust me, you’ll never regret turning off your phone for an hour to make enchiladas with your best friends. But you will regret not spending enough time with your college friends while they’re literally living within a 50-foot radius of you.

So here’s our Lala challenge. Grab a group of dinner callfriends, pick a time to meet weekly to eat a meal together, download the DinnerCall app, and start contributing to the #BillionDinner challenge.

Bonus, you have the chance to win a $100 grocery gift card (insert hands up emoji), if you download the app, and just post 10 meals before November 15th. Sign up here to be eligible to win.

We’ll be doing it also and sharing our meals through the DinnerCall app, so make sure to follow along.

And get ready for some of your best college memories to be made over good food and even better company.

family dinners

Featured Image via Anna Thetard

Molly Longest

Co-founder, Creative Director Her heart belongs to: leather jackets, live music, Moscow Mules and getting that perfect picture Her guilty pleasures: frequenting the taco truck down the street a minimum of two times a week and talking to strangers' dogs in Central Park

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