Family meals may have a lasting impact on children’s diets. Amy Norton of Reuters reports:Here’s a shocker!
Some past studies have suggested that when parents and children regularly connect over dinner, children are less likely to take up habits like smoking and drinking. The new findings, which appear in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, suggest that children's diets may also benefit in the long run.Hey, Dr. Fuhrman’s all in favor of the whole feeling sitting down for a nice healthy meal. Here’re his thoughts from Disease-Proof Your Child:
Among the more than 1,700 teenagers researchers followed for five years, those who ate the most meals with their families tended to have a more healthful diet in young adulthood.
By their early 20s, these teens reported eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking less soda, and getting more fiber, potassium and magnesium than their peers who ate few meals with their families.
"Based on the findings, families should be encouraged to share meals as often as possible," advised study chief Dr. Nicole Larson, a research associate at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Family meals probably teach teenagers how to make healthful food choices, she told Reuters Health, with parents serving as a "model" of healthy eating.
No rules only for children. If the parents are not willing to follow the rules set for the house, they should not be imposed on the children. Don’t argue about what your children should and shouldn’t be eating; discuss this in private. As parents, we must be consistent, but not perfect. Likewise, it is okay for the children to be consistent, but not perfect either. For example, if the parents decide that an unhealthy food or a restaurant meal is acceptable for the children once per week, then that goes for the adults, too. Setting an example supported by both parents is the most important and most effective way for your children to develop a healthy attitude toward food.Wait! Children are impressionable? You don’t say! Wow.