Eating together brings families closer, but aside from quality bonding, these shared moments also promote healthier eating, as a recent study posted on ScienceDaily.com shows that children who eat meals with their parents consume more fruits and vegetables than those who don’t.

Researchers led by Professor Janet Cade of the University of Leeds’ School of Food Science and Nutrition worked with dietary data from 2,389 children from 52 British primary schools namely Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich, Sutton, Lewisham, Lambeth, Merton, and Newham in Greater London. Information regarding family eating schedules, home menus, and other habits were taken into account.

Results of the survey showed that children who ate their meals together with their families consumed 125 grams or 1.5 portions more fruits and vegetables than those who didn’t. Even families who only came at the dining table together once or twice a week reported that their children still ate 95 grams or 1.2 portions more compared to those who ate separately.

Cade explains that shared meals can teach kids about being healthy. "Even if it's just one family meal a week, when children eat together with parents or older siblings they learn about eating. Watching the way their parents or siblings eat and the different types of food they eat is pivotal in creating their own food habits and preferences."

Although our busy schedules may encroach on our time with our families, it’s important to have meals together, so make it a point to set aside time for family meals every week .

(Photo by Naotake Murayama via Flickr Creative Commons)

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