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The Benefits Of The Family Dinner

1903 words - 8 pages

“People say they don’t have time to cook, yet in the last few years we have found an extra two hours a day for the Internet.” After many studies being performed, family dinners, which were once a dying tradition, are beginning to return. (Time Magazine, 3) Family dinners have been proven to be very beneficial and help provide children with confidence and skills they need in their life. It is important for parents to encourage family dinners in their homes. When family dinners are frequently held in homes it will increase a child’s nutrition, education, communication and relationships, and their likeliness not to become implicated in drugs and alcohol.
Many studies have established that having regular family dinners together encourages wholesome foods. A family tends to consume more fruits and vegetables and less fried foods when they make eating together a priority. Soda and food high in trans-fat are also more liable to be avoided. Professor Hammons explains, “We…know that families that sit down together are less likely to eat high-caloric food.” A family meal supplies a greater portion of protein, calcium, and vitamins. This is obviously because when family meals are provided, they are typically home-cooked and do not contain the unhealthiness of pre-packaged food. Sue Gilbert, MS Nutritionist, explains further. “Home meals don't necessarily mean healthy meals. When children eat at home but not with family, they typically do not consume a very well balanced diet.” When children grow up having family dinners in their home, usually they heed more to their food intake and eating habits as an adult. As a result, children who eat dinner with their family are less probable to become obese. This is proven by a study done by Ohio State University. This study found that when children eat dinner with their family, they view only 2 hours or less of TV a day, and get ten and half hours of sleep, and are 40% less likely to become overweight. The reason that children are less likely to be obese when joining in family suppers is very simple. By having a schedule family dinner, the family is able to enjoy their food and eat slowly. Purdue University also claims that, “children feel secure that they will be fed; regular meals prevent grazing and promote coming to the table hungry but not “starving.”() Often time dinner is rushed when not eaten as a family. Hurrying dinner leads to overeating, which is one cause of becoming overweight. Spending time around the dinner table has proven to also lower the risk of eating disorders. Dr. Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, a professor at the University of Minnesota, has studied the relationships between family dinners and eating disorders. In one of the studies she discovered that girls who ate with their families were half as likely not to develop an eating disorder in comparison to those that did not. (insert info) When family meals are provided, there is also a less significant existence of Type 2 Diabetes....

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