Can one thing really accomplish all of this? One magic action that will make your kids stronger and healthier both physically and emotionally?
Believe it or not, YES. It’s the family meal. Studies show that the power of eating together as a family is so much more than just sharing some time together!
What do these studies say? The vast majority of kids who have 7 or more family meals together a week, will eat more fruits and vegetables, will be less likely to be overweight which also puts them at a lower risk for health problems.
They have been shown to get better grades in school and both studies done with The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) and The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine show a correlation between family dinners and children who are more likely to stay away from smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and abusing drugs!
Now that’s some power! Most of the studies have come from the University of Minnesota, Harvard and Rutgers. They have looked at the family eating habits of nearly 40,000 middle-school students and teenagers. What they show is that it is all about the “togetherness” that makes the difference. There doesn’t seem to be much of an effect if the families were watching TV or not watching TV, whether the meal was breakfast or dinner, if they were at home or at a restaurant – just as long as they did it together!
So if you’re not already, plan on spending more family meals together and harness this power! To make life easier on yourself, check our our Quick Meal Mondays category for recipe ideas!
What kind of ways have you found to get more family togetherness in your lives? Share with us in the comments!