Eat Dinner With Your Kids: Improve Their Eating Habits
14-year-olds who frequently ate dinner with their families had
healthier dietary patterns than those who reported fewer family
dinners, according to an article in the "Archives of Family Medicine."
researchers found family dinner to be associated with higher
consumption of fruits and vegetables and several beneficial nutrients,
including fiber, folate, calcium, iron, and vitamins B6, B12, C and E.
They also consumed lower consumption of saturated fats, soda, fried
foods, and foods that raise blood sugar levels.
who joined their families for meals were not likely to increase
potentially harmful intakes of whole dairy foods, snack foods, and red
and processed meats, according to the researchers.
"Based on the
results of this study, health professionals may support the efforts of
family members to eat together as a means for improving the quality of
diet among older children and adolescents," the authors conclude.
Research indicates not eating family dinners could lead to the consumption of fewer, less healthful ready-made dinners.
surveyed 7,525 boys and 8,677 girls aged 9 to 14 who were the children
of participants in the ongoing Nurses' Health Study II, to examine the
association between frequency of eating dinner with family and measures
of diet quality.
information, contact lead author Dr. Matthew W. Gillman, of Harvard
Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care at (617) 432-0441.