The advantages and benefits of eating as a family
With the stressful life we lead and the speed at which to do things, in many families, the meals are different and different at the same time, for each member of it. Eating as a family provides a series of good eating and social habits that offer tools to help children and adolescents eat better and respect good practices.
The Complutense University of Madrid establishes that family meals are more than eating food at the same time and have very important repercussions, both in health, in education and in the behavior of children and adolescents. And this beyond the nutritional advantages.
The benefits of eating as a family with our children
Eating at least three meals a family every week is associated with having healthy children, according to a study published in Pediatrics. Based on this, perform 3 or more meals a week as a family reduces by 12% the probability that children are overweight.
There should not be excessive control, because we can produce the opposite effect, but we can establish healthy eating patterns. That is why the study also concluded that those families who did it together, at least 3 times a week, noticed a 20% drop in the choice of unhealthy foods.
The meeting invites everyone to be more participatory, encouraging communication between parents and elders. Although it is not usual, it is also very favorable not only to eat parents and children together, but also grandparents, in order to get a more open communication and feel much more family belonging.
Emotional and nutritious experiences
According to the Complutense University of Madrid, these meals are usually the basis for preparing the memories of food that are formed in childhood and then survive in life. This is the sum of sensory experiences that intervene in food, in touch and in taste, and this determines, in some way, our food choices.
Influences on the mental health of minors
The results of a study indicated that the children of families that normally ate together had a higher level of self-esteem, were better connected with their peers and had a greater capacity for tolerance in the face of adversity. Moreover, the study concluded that they also had fewer mental health problems than their peers.
Prevent food problems
When all together eat, it is much easier to detect when there is a serious health problem and food. We see what our children eat or not and we understand if they may be going through a disorder, and even with dialogue, to recognize if they have other problems, even if they are not of a food nature.
Tips for a good family meal
Being in a family is not enough for the aforementioned advantages to be carried out. It is necessary to establish a series of good habits and surround yourself with the best environment so that children eat and feel good.
For example, a large part of pediatricians agree that it is better to eat with the television off, not look at the phone, or talk on the phone, that is to say, that there is a maximum concentration in the food and in those people that we have around us. As well It is recommended to make meals with enough fruits and vegetables, leaving behind the sugars and fats.
Although each family is different and each child also, with family reunions harmony is sought, so it is better not to force the child to finish the whole dish, it will have enough when it is full, always within a set of rules to follow.
It is also not good to reward the child when the plate is finished or eat something that is not to your liking, it is good to recognize this fact, but not give awards every time something new ends. Children are often used to always ask for their prize, which creates a vicious circle from which it is difficult to escape.
Before the family meal, it is good that the child can also do the dishes, help in the kitchen, see the raw food, its preparation and put and remove the table as something more than the family routine. This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Pediatrician. We advise you to consult your trusted pediatrician. ThemesInfant feeding