Who has the time for family meals? Are they really important?
I think the question should be "who does not have time to sit down for a family meal?" Research has shown that families who sit together for a meal have children who consume a healthier diet. This is especially true of families with teenage children. A recent study found that children and teens consume more fruits, vegetables, and nutrient-dense foods, while consuming fewer between-meal snacks, when family meals are a part of the family routine.
With an increasing rate of childhood obesity, this is
dramatic news. By taking a few moments each day to eat
as a family, parents can help their children improve
their lifelong health. Combine family meals with an
occasional after-dinner walk and not only have you spent
quality time together, but you are increasing your
child's health for a lifetime.
Source: ADA Study, March 2003.
Jo Britt-Rankin, Ph.D., Associate Dean, State Specialist, Associate Professor, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Thursday, December 04, 2008