It’s no secret that our society has moved away from both family meals and the dining room table, but new research suggests that this may be contributing to a host of problems for our children.
The study found that when families always eat meals together at a table, children averaged the recommended 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables daily while those who sometimes or never ate meals together fell short. Children in the sometimes group ate 4.6 servings on average and those in the never group averaged 3.3 servings. Cutting up fruits and vegetables for the child was also shown to increase consumption.
A Word of Caution About Fruits & Vegetables
When fruits and vegetables are grouped together, people often think they they are interchangeable. Keep in mind that while fruits are important, they have much higher sugar content than vegetables. in addition, leafy green vegetables are widely regarded as one of the best things you can put in your body. As a result, many experts would agree that vegetables should be eaten in far greater quantity than fruit.
More Support for Family Meals
Various studies have been conducted about family meals in recent years. Family dinners have been linked to:
- Lower junk food consumption
- Development of healthy eating habits into adulthood
- Fewer weight issues
- Lower risk for alcohol, tobacco and drugs dependence
- Better grades in school
- Healthier social development
Our two cents on family meals.
A lot of love and learning can be shared by a family around a table and they won’t be young forever. Cooking can also be therapeutic, so slow down and smell the basil, because the list of benefits for you probably rivals that of your children. Finally, our society has a clear disconnect with our food, how it’s made, whats in it and where it has been between the farm and your table, so lets do ourselves a favor and share food together.