While finding time to enjoy meals together gets trickier for families every day, research continues to demonstrate family meals are a great way to promote healthy family eating habits.
According to a recent study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (now Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics), eating together as a family during adolescence is associated with lasting positive effects on dietary quality in young adulthood.
The researchers found adolescents who ate with their families grow up to be healthier adults who eat more fruit, dark-green and orange vegetables and key nutrients and consume fewer soft drinks.
Frequency of family meals also predicts girls would eat breakfast as adults. Among boys, family meals predict higher intakes of calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber as adults.
Family meals don't need to be complicated or time-consuming — the key is eating together.