Baylor College of Medicine

Research confirms benefits of family meals

Dipali Pathak


Houston, TX -

Sitting down together as a family to eat is an important factor in making healthy food choices, and one that is confirmed by research studies, said a nutrition expert at Baylor College of Medicine.

"Having a family meal can be good for the body and the soul," said Kristi King, registered dietitian at BCM and Texas Children’s Hospital.

King says that research indicates that:

  • Children are less likely to become obese.
  • Children being less likely to consume alcohol, smoke cigarettes and try illegal or prescription drugs.
  • Children will have better grades in school.
  • Parents are more likely to hear about any serious problems that might be occurring in a child’s life.

King recommends several steps to starting family meals:

  • Set a goal – start with twice-a-week family meals.
  • Have everyone help out – children can set the table, help plan the meal and help cook the meal.
  • Make the meal conversation enjoyable and ask questions.
  • Make a rule that no phones are allowed at the table.

She also recommends that if children have too many after-school activities to make the family meal happen at dinnertime, consider turning breakfast into family meal time.


Research at Baylor


Read more about research at Baylor College of Medicine in our monthly newsletter From the Labs.

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