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FAMILIES THAT EAT TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER

How often do you enjoy family meals at your home? With long commutes and kids’ activities, it’s easy to see why eating together can take a back seat.

So why are family meals important? The benefits go beyond health.

  1. Family bonding — Family meals foster a sense of security and comfort in children. Research also shows that kids, especially teen-agers, are less likely to get into trouble and experiment with drugs if they eat regularly with their family.
  2. Communication — Mealtimes are great to catch up about everyone’s day and nurture kids’ language skills.
  3. Healthier eating habits — Children and teens eat more balanced meals when they eat with their family. As role models, what parents eat has a big influence on what their kids eat. Even if your kids aren’t happily chomping away on vegetables, as long as they see you eat your veggies, that’s a step in the right direction.
  4. Time for learning — Sharing meals helps children understand family and cultural traditions about food. As well, they learn team-work and valuable life skills if they help with getting the meal on the table. Easy things for kids to do: set the table, and wash/spin/tear salad.
  5. Better grades — Research shows that children who eat regular family meals do better academically. Kids who go to school hungry, for example, can’t learn as well.

Source: Adapted from EatRight Ontario

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