A study in the journal Pediatrics finds that children and adolescents who share meals with their families at least three times per week are less likely to be overweight, eat unhealthy foods or be at risk for eating disorders.
"It tells parents what they can do to help in those nutritional issues with their children," said lead study author Amber Hammons, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
"We understand that parents are really busy, and that's definitely one of the biggest problems that's cited by parents- that it's just so difficult to manage time to prepare it and then to get all the family members to be present," she said. "What this study is suggesting is that sitting down for three meals out of the week tends to show this significant benefit." The researchers examined 17 previous studies, which involved 182,836 children aged 2 to 17. Their findings reinforced the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics, as part of its campaign to prevent childhood obesity.
Read the rest of "Family meals benefit health of children" on The Chart.
The Pediatrics article demonstrates that sharing family meals can have health promoting benefits. However, it’s not always easy to get everyone to the table for a stress free mealtime. The Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois (where the Pediatrics study was conducted) has started an initiative to offer tips for parents to manage common mealtime challenges like sibling conflict. You can check out the Mealtime Minutes initiative that includes a public service announcement, mealtime conversation cards, tips generated by parents, and a sign up list to learn more at http://familyresiliency.illinois.edu/MealtimeMinutes.htm. Additional Mealtime Minutes will be forthcoming with input from real families with real solutions.
Just found that "123 Get Samples" is promoting a wide variety of major brands by providing free samples. You’ll have to fill in your zip code to see if you can qualify to receive them. You can get all samples from one place. I think it is available for most of the zip codes and it worked for me.
Three times a week? Are you kidding me? We eat together at least 14 meals a week. Our son eats with at least one of us 21 times a week. Is that unusual?
Well, first one would have to define "family".
Mom, Dad, young'uns, grandma and grandpa if still alive...
A family can be defined as whatever or whomever you'd like. Blood may be thicker than water but sometimes water is better company.
As it pertains to this article, "a family" is a group of people you live with, love, and share meals with.
The older I get, the more I realize that I had a pretty idyllic childhood for the most part. I always owned a bike, and took it everywhere. I received a BB gun when I was about nine. I used to spend most every day in the summer fishing, and we had dinner together every night. While there were certainly things I would have done differently, I think for the most part, I haad a great deal to be thankful for.
Yep, I had it pretty good as a kid too. I'll have to remember to tell my parents "thank you".
Actually a good point Queen that I am going to do tonight.
"it's just so difficult to manage time to prepare it and then to get all the family members to be present," Guess I'm just old school. When my folks said "dinners ready!" It wasn't a request to go to the table, it was a requirment or my azz got turned red as rasberries.
My father was not one to negotiate over things like this. We also talked during dinner, whcih I think was a huge help as well.
Amen! We had five kids and two adults and somehow we always made it to dinner at the same time. both parents worked, we had school, sports, etc. As you said, it was not a request or optional to be present and I think we were the better for it. And no telephone or tv allowed during dinner either. If one of our friends called during dinner, we were in BIG trouble... :)
Yup same here with us, Truth. We talked to each other, laughed and cryed too. LOL, JBJ! I totally forgot about the phone rule. Not only were our friends not allowed to call during dinner, you were not allowed to answer the phone either. Now a days, kids text while they eat. Anyway...
I took my 16 year-old nephew's phone away from him when he was texting during Easter dinner. I didn't give it back to him until they left.
I like your style Q!
HA! I had two phones (both off) in my pocket on my wedding day. Mine and my 16 year old nephews who was a groomsman.
I'm not even sure why the child even has a phone. He doesn't get his license for another 4 months and the only places he should be going are school, band practice and to his friends houses. I'm pretty sure phones exist in all of those places.
Hilarious but so true, so true. I think the three of us we're raised with the same set of rules. I recognize life is not like the Andy Griffith Show or Leave it to Beaver, but today's kids have no clue. This is a rule that we will be instilling for Lil Biddle. Took the little guy to get a haircut on Saturday and the hairdresser was trying to give him a sucker to distract him and I said, ahhh no candy Lisa. Why not, why not. Ummmm, let me think: he's barely one, I don't want him to choke, and he doesn't need the candy. I did tell her no candy, there are enough fat kids in the U.S. these days. Got a few looks from some of the other patrons on that line.
My pop did the same with me and my brohters. No candy when getting a hair . Sounds like Lil Bid and soon to be Lil Truth will be regular chips off the old block.
We could only eat dinner if we were sitting at the table. You want to stay in the living room and finish watching TV? Fine but if the food was gone by the time you made it to the table...too bad so sad.
And I bet that only happened ONE time for you to learn you lesson? Or, I bet you were the stubborn child, weren't cha?
Heck, no! I was the kid that said if you're not going to get your fool behind up to the table then I'm eating your share. There were 3 kids (out of 12) still at home when I came along so mealtime was every man for himself.
You have 11 siblings?
Yep. 1 brother, 1 sister, 6 half-sisters and 3 half-brothers. I'm the baby of the family (as if that is abundantly clear). :)
"as if that is abundantly clear" LOL! Yup, that is one heck of a big brood.
Ok Queen, that explains a lot...
Doesn't it though? ;)
we also had the if you don't eat what the rest of the family is eating you can have cereal. By cereal I mean Special K or Raisin Bran not Fruity Pebbles. However that was after the rest of the family finished eating AND after you had helped clean the table.
This did change however once my mom started working and their marriage started failing...then it was every kid for themself
When I was growing up my family sat down together every night. There were exception to this once I was old enough to have a job and worked some evenings but there was always leftovers with my name on them when I returned home. I work full time as does my husband and we have 3 kids and my daughters gymnastics runs into dinner a few nights a week but the rest of us sit down together regularly and when my daughter gets home someone sits with her while she eats and we discuss her day. For those parents who claim to be "too busy" to sit down together as a family I say this...You are only as busy as you choose to be. NO is always an option. Family should ALWAYS COME FIRST!!
Geez, I remember the white bread at the table for dinner...but that chicken looks a bit puny to me! :)
Yep, I see a big loaf of unhealthy white bread, a chicken that looks like it was friend and milk that is probably filled with antibiotics. What I don't see is any whole grains or vegetables. This family is going to be constipated.
The family that farts together, smells together...
The family that eats together, craps together.
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