Nutritious 4 U

A Healthy Lifestyle Begins with Good Nutrition

Sharing Meals Means Better Health

It is no secret that chemicals found in processed food contributes significantly to weight gain.  What researchers are also finding is that sitting down to a home cooked meal together contributes significantly to better health.

Studies have found that eating out led to at least a 50 percent increase in calories consumed.

f you want to do everything you can to ensure your children’s well-being, having frequent family home-cooked meals may be something you want to put near the top of the list. According to WebMD, research has shown that children who eat home-cooked meals more frequently were less likely to be overweight. Studies found family meals tend to contain more fruits and vegetables and less fried food, soda and trans fat.

A survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that teens whose families ate together frequently were less likely to use alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, something that provides myriad other benefits besides better physical and mental health. To boot, these kids tended to get better grades. Other surveys have found that children who ate frequently with their families tended to be happier with life in general.

Better Balanced Meals

Studies have found that eating out led to at least a 50 percent increase in calories consumed, sodium and total fat intake. When eating out occasionally, this splurge is not a big deal in the long run; but with the rapid increase in people eating in restaurants or getting take-out and delivery from said restaurants rather than cooking at home, this really adds up to significant overeating considering the serving sizes of most meals.

How many times have you stuffed yourself at a restaurant simply because the food was there? According to research conducted at Harvard University, families that ate together every day or most days had higher intake of health-promoting nutrients such as calcium, fiber, iron, vitamin B-6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin C; they also had less overall saturated fat intake.


With busy schedules, it can be hard to sit down to dinner as a family. But, there is a good chance you can make it work with a little effort. For many of you, you can probably swing it but are so used to eating separately, you do not even think to change the routine. Maybe you will never be able to do daily dinners, but at least make an effort to pencil in one or two, at least to start.


By: Kelli Cooper
Kelly Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in health and wellness content.



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