Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 31, 2014

Research shows benefits of family meals

May 01, 2013

HOUSTON, Texas — Sitting down together as a family to eat is an important factor in making healthy food choices, and one that is confirmed by research studies, said a nutrition expert at Baylor College of Medicine.

“Having a family meal can be good for the body and the soul,” said Kristi King, registered dietitian at BCM and Texas Children’s Hospital. “Research has shown several benefits to family meals, including consuming healthier meals and children being less likely to become obese.”

King says that research has shown other benefits including:

•Children being less likely to consume alcohol, smoke cigarettes and try illegal or prescription drugs

•Children having better grades in school

•Parents being more likely to hear about any serious problems that might be occurring in a child’s life

King recommends several steps to starting family meals:

•Set a goal – start with twice-a-week family meals

•Have everyone help out – children can set the table, help plan the meal and help cook the meal

•Make the meal conversation enjoyable and ask questions

•Make a rule that no phones are allowed at the table

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