The Benefits of Family Meals for Children’s Health

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. family - dinner

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.

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