All modern parents around the world are very much concerned about eating habits and meal choices of their kids, and they understand very well the importance of developing healthy eating habits and explaining the basics of healthy eating to all children and teenagers of today’s. Due to extreme amounts of unhealthy foods for kids available in our markets and shops, too massive advertising campaigns of such foods, as well as too busy business life of most parents, there is a little opportunity for kids to learn about eating ethics and traditions, including eating as a family or cooking healthy family meals. This is really sad because, according to the findings of a recent study, eating together with the family at home helps children not only get used to healthy eating basics, but also assists in improving health and reducing the risks of many serious diseases in kids.
It is estimated that in the United States, an average family spends up to 40 per cent of its budget for eating out. Kids drag their parents or grandparents to Burger King or McDonald’s, and consume the foods which are anything but healthy. At the same time, family meetings and eating as a family have turned into something that occurs just twice a year, only for Christmas and the Thanksgiving. Undoubtedly, eating together with the family is more associated with homemade healthy family meals, using healthy cooking techniques and less negative effects to overall health of all family members, compared to usual eating out. In addition, eating at home is usually more economical and can help modern families save the money. However, it is hard to convey this message to working parents and busy grandparents, who hardly have time for cooking and eating at home.
A group of scientists at Rutgers University analyzed 68 previous scientific studies and researches which have something to do with good eating habits in children, healthy family meals and family health. The objective of their work was to find possible links between these factors, and possibly to create a model of ideal eating routine for modern children and adults. Such a model should be used by all parents to help educating their kids as to the significance of choosing healthy meals and eating together with the family at home. A special attention was paid by the scientists to the atmosphere and quality of healthy family meals, as well as how often such kind of eating is practiced in the families. Certainly, when eating as a family, more healthy family meals are cooked and consumed, and less of unhealthy meal choices (like carbonated sugary drinks, chips, chocolates, etc.) is made by children and teenagers.
After analyzing the data and scientific evidence in the previous studies, the researchers came to the conclusions that there are certain links between eating as a family and reduced risks of obesity in children. It turned out that eating together with the family and consuming healthy family meals made of fresh fruits, veggies, beans, or other healthy foods rich in dietary fiber, calcium, or other essential nutrients, and free from harmful components, can assist in lowering body mass index of children, decreasing their risks of suffering from obesity and all related health risks. The scientists underline the importance of educating parents about the advantages of family eating, and they managed to create a special conceptual image to help parents and their kids make healthier food and meal choices. “Images like this one will be a helpful method to demonstrate the benefits identified in scientific literature to parents in a concise, non-biased method,” is said in the report about the scientific study.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.