Research has indicated that consistently eating meals together as a family
is associated with healthier kids. If you’re looking for
ways to avoid extra trips to your local clinic or urgent care center, then continue reading to learn
why doctors in Atlanta recommend family meals for children’s health.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
It’s been demonstrated that when a kid eats 3 or more meals per week
with at least 1 parent present, this can result in a lower likelihood
of the child becoming overweight. Childhood obesity is a significant problem
in the United States, and being overweight is a risk factor for conditions
like diabetes, heart disease, asthma, sleep apnea, and some cancers. For
these reasons, enjoying more meals together as a family may protect your
child’s health by helping her avoid excess weight gain.
Preventing Disordered Eating Habits
An eating disorder is defined as an unhealthy relationship with food, and
the 3 main types of these disorders are bulimia, binge eating, and anorexia.
Research has shown that children and teens who eat more of their meals
with their family have a reduced rate of disordered eating habits. Because
of this, many doctors advise parents to prioritize eating together as a family.
Promoting Social-Emotional Health
Social-emotional health refers to a person’s ability to demonstrate
self-regulation, form positive relationships with others, understand emotions,
and express empathy. It’s been found that young children who have
high levels of social-emotional health do well academically and adapt
better to their school environments. Kids who eat family meals regularly
tend to have the best social-emotional health levels.
Teaching Healthy Food Choices
The eating habits that people develop when they are young can last a lifetime.
For this reason, planning healthy family meals can help teach your child
how to make smart decisions regarding what and how much to eat. Studies
show that eating several meals together every week can decrease a child’s
unhealthy food choices, so using family meals to teach your kid to enjoy
healthy foods at a young age is a gift that can encourage her long-term health.