This Simple Trick Can Help Teens To Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Walton said many teenagers and young adults living at home are busy with evening extracurricular activities or part-time jobs, making it hard to find time for dinner with family members.
Teenagers having dinner together with their families are more likely to have healthier eating habits
- Family dinners are great way to improve dietary intake of whole family
- It's also a time that parents can model healthful eating behaviours
- Even breakfast together can be effective
Teenagers and young adults having dinner together with their families are more likely to have healthier eating habits than those who eat alone, a new study has revealed. The researchers found that when families sit down together, adolescents and young adults eat more fruits and veggies and consume fewer fast-food. "Our research found that family dinners are a great way to improve the dietary intake of the whole family, regardless of how well the family functions together," said lead researcher Kathryn Walton, post-doctoral researcher at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, Canada.
"It's a time when families can slow down from their busy days to talk, spend time together and problem-solve. It's also a time that parents can model healthful eating behaviours," Walton added.
The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, found that preparing and enjoying a meal together can also help families bond and the meal does not have to be a big drawn-out affair.
"Even if it's something you pull out of the freezer, add a bagged salad on the side and you'll have a decent nutritional meal," said Jess Haines, Professor from the University of Guelph in Canada.
But finding that time once a day -- even if it's breakfast together -- can be just as effective, the researcher said.
For the study, the team looked at more than 2,700 participants, 14 to 24 years of age.
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