Congratulations to family units with enough time, money, and skill to eat dinner at the table, you are officially raising kids who will learn to love mother nature's bounty. Now, the rest of you —the family units who don't? Congratulations for raising kids who will learn to love Mars Incorporated's Bounty chocolate bars instead. You win some, you lose some!
A study of elementary school students was published in the British Medical Journal's Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health suggests kids are very much influenced by parents who eat fruits and veggies. It also helps if they take the time to prepare them for bite-sized consumption. So, having access to healthy foods and being taught to eat them are Very Important Things.
Children who always ate a family meal together at a table consumed 125g (1.5 portions) more fruit and vegetables on average than children who never ate with their families. Even those who reported eating together only once or twice a week consumed 95g (1.2 portions) more than those who never ate together.
"Even if it's just one family meal a week, when children eat together with parents or older siblings they learn about eating. Watching the way their parents or siblings eat and the different types of food they eat is pivotal in creating their own food habits and preferences," says Professor Janet Cade, of the University [of Leeds'] School of Food Science and Nutrition, who supervised the study.
Not to get all free therapy time on you, but I grew up in a household where we never ate together. If dinner was provided, it was a good day, and we all ate in our own little corners. In contrast, my boyfriend grew up in a family who had all the resources to eat meals together and have great conversation and was taught to love food and company and be a better person than I am. Guess who has the more fucked up relationship with meal time? DING DING.
I guess my only point is, I can see how this is very true. Unfortunately, this is a busy world, there are about a million reasons why even the best parents can't sit down with their kids for dinner. Life, am I right?
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