Family meals help children to take more fruits and vegetables
It has carried out a study in the UK, in which children whose families always ate together took 1.5 times more fruits and vegetables per day than children whose families never ate together. Children who ate family once or twice a week group consumed 1.2 times.
"Modern life often prevents the whole family feels gasket around the dinner table, but this research shows that even just eating together on Sunday can help improve feed our families," said Meaghan Christian, the University of Leeds.
Family meals may provide an opportunity for children to learn healthy habits from their parents or siblings, and are also an incentive to plan menus, according to researchers.
Cut fruits and vegetables into smaller pieces also increases consumption. Kids ate half more servings of fruit if their parents cut them.
Most Western children do not consume the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables, five servings a day, according to the researchers.
Previous research showed that children who eat dinner with their families are less likely to be obese and more likely to eat healthy foods.
The new study results are based on data from 2,000 children of primary school in London, with an average age of 8 years. Parents answered questions about food consumption for their children for the last day, and the frequency with which the family ate together. 63% of children do not eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
The study is published last December 19th in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.