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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










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Last update: Thursday, December 04, 2008



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