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Family Meals Benefit Teenagers In The Long Run

Discussion in 'Healthy Living' started by sunkan, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    Family meals during adolescence may have a lasting positive influence on dietary quality and meal patterns in young adulthood.

    Family meals probably teach teenagers how to make healthy food choices, with parents serving as a model of healthy eating. This underscores the importance of the traditional family dinner, something that has become redundant in an age of hectic schedules and take-out food. Some past studies have suggested that when parents and children regularly connect over dinner, children are less likely to take up habits like smoking and drinking.

    Researchers at the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place><st1:placeType>University</st1:placeType> of <st1:placeName>Minnesota</st1:placeName></st1:place> in <st1:City><st1:place>Minneapolis</st1:place></st1:City> studied more than 1,700 teenagers, 946 female students and 764 male students, for five years, which included those who ate most meals with their families and those who did not. Teenagers who had meals with their families tended to have a more healthy diet in young adulthood. By their early 20s, these teenagers reported eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking less soda, and getting more fibre, potassium and magnesium than their peers who ate fewer meals with their families. Frequency of family meals also predicted more breakfast meals in females and for both sexes predicted more frequent dinner meals, higher priority for meal structure and higher priority for social eating.

    Thus, the findings suggest that families should be encouraged to share meals as often as possible. But this does not mean picking up fast food on the way home each night. Instead, meals should include lean proteins, whole grains like brown rice, and plenty of vegetables. Water or milk should be the choice over soda, while fruits could be taken as dessert.

    brought to u by sunkan
     
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  2. roopadadia

    roopadadia Silver IL'ite

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    Great thread Sunkan.

    I think thats why in earlier times it was compulsory for the whole family to have meals together.

    This also help in bonding as you tend to sit and talk leisurely over meals. Normally i also don't encourage phone calls while having food as this breaks the flow of the conversation and if its a personal call then kids tend to excuse themselves halfway from the meal and go out to talk & return back to continue with their meals which is actually not a healthy eating habit not a healthy abit to be inculcated.

    In our organisation we have a lot of youngsters who are working with us and away from home. They are not married so in the evenings they tend to go out for dinner & then slowly get into the habit of eating non-veg, smoking & drinking. So i make it a point to call them home once in a while to have dinner with us so they don't miss out the homely environment and also they have a sense of belonging that someone is there to take care of them other than their parents.

    It is rather sad that in many families the parents are working late or socialising and the kids are left to fend for themselves...so the emotional bonding between the parents and the children is becoming narrower.

    Roopa.
     
  3. sunkan

    sunkan Gold IL'ite

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    veru true,
    my foster parents used to socialise a lot and one lady by name of indu took care of me, and i dont trust people easily this is the result of not eating together i feel...sunkan
     
  4. Shanvy

    Shanvy IL Hall of Fame

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    hi sunkan

    Good topic..it definitely helps in bonding and also the family can keep an eye on the healthy diet of the teenager...........
     

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