August is National Family Meals month! With our fast paced world, meals often become the easiest part of the day to shorten and do on the go. The part that is forgotten in the rush is the benefits of eating a meal with family. From better nutrition to higher grades, the time spent having a family meal goes a long way.
- Good food for growing bodies – eating meals at home can provide essential nutrients that kids and teens need to grow strong and healthy. Meals at home are also more likely to include nutrient rich fruits, vegetables and dairy.
- Healthy foods, healthy bodies – children and teens are less likely to be overweight because they are eating more healthful. Teens are also less likely to smoke cigarettes, use marijuana/other illegal drugs, and drink alcohol. Teens are also less likely to be depressed and have better self-esteem.
- Family bonding – kids and teens enjoy connecting with parents and other family members over meals and this strengthens a sense of belonging.
- Higher grades – during family dinners, kids and teens have exposure to a broader vocabulary and have an opportunity to express their ideas. Parents are more likely to hear about upcoming tests and school progress during a family meal, thus giving them the opportunity to become more involved.
Family meals are a valuable time for kids and teens as well as parents. For more information about how to start a family meals routine in your house or more information about family meals, visit EatSmart.org.