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Children's health

Children Who Eat with Family Enjoy Better Health as Adults

Thursday, November 27, 2008 by: Sheryl Walters
Tags: children's health, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Studies show that family eating around the table is becoming increasingly rare, as people choose to eat in front of the television or computer, or in their own time. Yet research throughout the years has shown that eating together as a family leads to better nutrition. This includes greater intake of health foods, reduced consumption of junk foods, and optimum weight. Studies also show that family meals are linked with greater food awareness and knowledge.

A recent study based in the USA has also shown that eating together as a family may have a lasting effect on children. 1700 people's eating habits were assessed when they were just under 16, and then again five years later when they were 20.

The 20 year olds who had eaten most of their meals with their family reported eating more fruit and vegetables, and had a higher intake of important nutrients including potassium and magnesium. Soft drinks and other rubbish were consumed far less. There was also a greater chance that they would eat dinner, which is associated with greater health than skipping dinner and snacking or binge eating.

Girls who regularly ate with their families were more likely to eat breakfast as adults. "Eating breakfast together is especially important ands making time for this should be a priority," advises dietician Jackie Smith. "It is well documented that children who have a well balanced breakfast are not so prone to obesity and also concentrate and learn better at school."

In both males and female, there was a greater intake of calcium, fiber and other key vitamins and minerals if they had regularly shared family meals in the past. "Results of this study suggest that having more family meals during adolescence is associated with improved diet quality during young adulthood," say the researchers. "Food and nutrition professionals should encourage families to share meals as often as practically possible."

Jackie Smith RD FIH from NutritionWise says "Parents can observe and influence not just what the child is eating but also develop their social skills. Children like to copy and use others as role models so it is vital that parents are positive about their attitude to food and healthy eating. As children get older, families should try to eat together at least twice or three times a week either at home or a meal outside the home."

It appears that these same individuals who ate primarily with their families when they were growing up, also felt that eating socially was important, rather than a time to simply gobble down food.

About the author

Sheryl is a kinesiologist, nutritionist and holistic practitioner.
Her website www.younglivingguide.com provides the latest research on preventing disease, looking naturally gorgeous, and feeling emotionally and physically fabulous. You can also find some of the most powerful super foods on the planet including raw chocolate, purple corn, and many others.

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