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Families that eat together are healthier

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Did you know that something as simple as eating family meals can improve the health and well-being of your child?

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Years ago, it was common for all families to eat together around the table, usually for three meals a day. Today, the dining room table is often empty. The children are in their rooms, in front of the TV or away at a soccer game.

Meals are often unplanned. Foods are chosen because they’re easy to prepare, not because they’re healthy. This lack of structured meal time is unhealthy for children.

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Children who eat meals with their family:

  • Are more likely to be a healthy weight
  • Eat more healthy foods
  • Are more likely to be a healthy weight
  • Eat more healthy foods
  • Are less likely to have eating problems
  • Are more emotionally healthy
  • Do better in school
  • Are happier with their lives
  • Planning for family meals: 
  • Make family meals a priority.
  • Don’t have time to cook? Use the crock pot. Cook meals ahead of time and freeze.
  • Ask children to help. Even young ones can help set the table. Older kids can help plan meals and fix some dishes food.
  • Turn off the TV at dinner. Leave phones in the other room.
  • Talk to each other about your day or the food you are eating. Have fun.
  • Eating together for even one or two meals a week is good for the whole family.

Planning for family meals:

  • Make family meals a priority.
  • Don’t have time to cook? Use the crock pot. Cook meals ahead of time and freeze.
  • Ask children to help. Even young ones can help set the table. Older kids can help plan meals and fix some dishes food.
  • Turn off the TV at dinner. Leave phones in the other room.
  • Talk to each other about your day or the food you are eating. Have fun.
  • Eating together for even one or two meals a week is good for the whole family.

Sources:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • KidsHealth