Are family meals making a comeback? I know in my household we are trying to make an effort to eat most meals at the kitchen table instead of haphazardly around the family room. I’ve found that my two-year-old daughter will eat much better that way than just hanging out on the couch and eating in front of the tube.
I would have thought that most households eat meals informally. Everything is so fast paced and short attention spanned, people just eat when they get around to it. But, according to a 2007 Columbia University survey of more than 1,500 teens and parents, 59 percent of teens eat dinner with their families at least five times a week, an increase of 12 percent over the last decade.
“Families who eat together have healthier, more balanced diets,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., L.D.N., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “Making family mealtime a priority not only improves everyone’s physical health, but it also contributes to their overall well-being and mental health.”
There’s some concrete research that shows it’s healthy to eat together.
A 2000 Harvard Medical School study of more than 16,000 boys and girls ages 9-14 revealed adolescents who shared frequent meals with their families ate more fruits and vegetables and less fried food, saturated fat, and trans fat.
There are many other possible reasons why eating together is healthier. You can read more from the Cooking Light article at CNN.com.
November 15th, 2008