Thursday, April 2, 2009

Better Eating Habits in Teens With Regular Family Meals

Teens coming from families where family meals are the norm demonstrate more sound and healthful eating habits than their counterparts. Are you surprised?

In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, the researchers examined the eating patterns of adolescents when they were 12 or 13 and then five years later. During this period of time, they found that regular family meals (five or more meals together per week) declined. Despite this fact, the adolescents who participated in regular family meals both at the beginning and end of the study were more likely to have breakfast and dinner meals as well as increased intakes of vegetables, calcium-rich food, dietary fiber, and several other nutrients including magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc.

If you think about it, just the fact that families devote the time to sit down together and have a meal suggests that they value the importance of food and they are less likely to be grabbing fast-food on the go! Even if that's not true, it's an absolute fact that parental behaviour has a huge impact on what kids end up doing in the future. Set a good example and set your kids up with healthy eating habits for life!