(WTNH)–Before you have dinner tonight, a new report might have you thinking, should your whole family sit down to eat together?
Sitting down for a family meal is a seemingly simple activity, but one that appears to be linked to big health advantages for kids. Researchers in Canada studying nearly 1,500 kids in Quebec found that those who had positive family meal environments at age six tended to be more physically fit, less aggressive, and otherwise more well-adjusted by age 10.
A positive family meal environment is characterized as one “rich in conversation and acceptance and low in conflict.”
As an added bonus, the kids who had regular family meals tended to end up drinking less soda as well.
As for whether meals with family can take credit for the positive outcomes, or if they are just another sign of a healthy family, it isn’t clear in this study. Still, given the promising findings from past research on this topic, it certainly couldn’t hurt to try to have more meals with everyone, together, at home.
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