The Importance of Family Meals: Nutritional Quality

This is the third blog in a series exploring the benefits of eating meals together as a family.

A report from the University of Florida says that one of the real benefits of family meals is the opportunity for conversation that it brings (see the last post in this series). The report goes on to reveal that eating together as a family is also associated with better nutritional quality of food eaten. Here is what they say:

Eating dinner as a family has been shown to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables, which provide a variety of nutrients and dietary fiber. Families who eat dinner together as a family tend to have a higher rate of eating the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables. Some studies also have shown that families who eat dinner together tend to eat fewer fried foods and drink less soda. Family meal frequency also is positively linked to the intake of protein, calcium, and some vitamins.

They also make some great suggestions for mealtime:

  1. Make cooking a family activity and include everyone in the preparation process.
  2. Try fun recipes or old family recipes with healthier alternatives.
  3. Have theme nights such as Italian night, Mexican night, or Caribbean night.
  4. Create your own original recipes using low-fat ingredients.
  5. Have family cook-offs.

Follow us as we describe more benefits to eating meals together as a family in the next few blogs.