Can you get your family together at mealtime at least a few times a week?

While finding time to enjoy meals together gets trickier for families every day, research continues to demonstrate family meals are a great way to promote healthy family eating habits. In our haste to get meals prepared, we may forget that mealtime gives us time to talk, listen and build family relationships. It’s also a chance for parents to be good role models for healthful eating.

According to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, eating together as a family during adolescence is associated with lasting positive effects on dietary quality in young adulthood. Research shows that adolescents who eat with their families grow up to be healthier adults who eat more fruit, dark-green and orange vegetables and consume fewer soft drinks. They also eat more fiber, less fried food, and often few calories.

Family meals don’t need to be complicated or time-consuming — the key is eating together.


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