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Family Mealtime Proves to Be a Powerful Activity on Kids Healthy Habits

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

Sometimes I am asked, what is the one most important habit I can change that will make a difference in my child's health. That is not an easy one to answer, because I start to think about vegetables, healthy snacking, portion sizes, daily fitness.

But if I had to say one thing to parents that could be the most influential on their child's health habits, I would say

"sitting down and eating meals together as a family every day"

I know, it sounds too simple. But sometimes, the most simple things turn out to be the most important. And let's not confuse "simple in principal" with "simple to implement". We have a very busy lifestyle and it seems like we are always running to get one more thing done. And sitting down as a family requires a little bit of planning. And planning requires some time. But there are so many reasons why this is so beneficial for kids.

The obvious:

  • time to talk as a family
  • learn about each other's day
  • parents can role model for kids healthy eating habits
  • kids can learn table manners
  • parents can provide meals with healthy choices
  • parents can encourage kids to eat until they are full - forget the "clean the plate" (that's old school)
  • parents can provide variety, foods from all the food groups

This is just off the top of my head, but I am sure you can add to the list. But still not convinced. How about this:

  • Columbia University study found that high schoolers who had dinner with their families got 40% more A's and B's that those kids that did not.

Do I need to find more studies to prove the power of family meals? Kids enjoy time with Mom and Dad. Family time is so precious and when you add in all these bonuses, well, it is hard not to make it a priority.

To provide even more positive influences on your child's eating habits- have the kids participate in preparing the meal. There are a ton of studies that indicate the healthy habit benefits of this activity! But that is for another blog!



1 Comment

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 @ 09:37 PM

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Nice post...Try to steer children for healthy eating by giving them variety of fruits so that they could change their taste. The best way to promote healthy eating for children is to involve them in shopping. If your children have selected something then he will show interest in eating it. Drinking plenty of water is also very important for children.

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