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Family Meal Time

September 20th, 2010

It’s not just what you feed your kids, but if you eat with them, that’s important!

Over and over, studies show that families who eat meals together benefit by having decreased risks of their children developing obesity, using alcohol or other drugs. They also perform better in school, tend to be happier, have positive peer relations and a decreased risk of suicide.

How can sitting down together to eat make all the difference? Part of it is that family meals generally promote healthy portions, include more fruits and vegetables and fewer fried foods. And, there is the advantage of having conversation between parent and child without the distractions of phones, TV or computers.

A family meal doesn’t have to be a feast laid out on the dining room table. A meal with food from each food group and the family talking together qualifies. Eating away from home can be a family meal if you are sitting down talking to each other while you eat.

If you want more information on this subject, check out Family meal time blog post on The Science of Parenting site, a new online resource from Iowa State University Extension. The purpose of the blog is to communicate research-based information on current/hot parenting topics.

-pointers from Peggy

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