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Baylor College of Medicine

Research confirms benefits of family meals

Dipali Pathak

713-798-4710

Houston, TX -
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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.
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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.
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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.

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Research at Baylor

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

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