Make Family Meals a Priority: What Research Says About Kids' Health & Family Mealtime by Mei Marcie
We know the benefits of sharing a family meal together. It is a time for conversation and sharing gratitude and struggles encountered during the day, and a comfortable setting to deepen relationships between family members. In a study published by the Université de Montréal in Canada, the benefits of family meals for young children extends to social and physical health as well!
From data collected on 1,492 children who were a part of the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, it was found that "family meal environment quality at age 6 predicted higher levels of general fitness and lower levels of soft drink consumption, physical aggression, oppositional behavior, nonaggressive delinquency and reactive aggression at age 10."
In another study in 2011, it was found that "children and adolescents who share family meals three or more times per week are more likely to be in a normal weight range and have healthier dietary and eating patterns than those who share fewer than three family meals together. In addition, they are less likely to engage in disordered eating."
If you are looking at improving your family health in the new year, consider sharing more family meals!