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family cooking dinner together

Eat together to create healthy habits for your kid


Meals can be an important social outlet, whether it’s lunchtime in the cafeteria with coworkers to take your mind off the job or reconnecting with the family at Sunday dinner. But the benefits of eating together reach well beyond social interaction.

Families who eat together eat better, so it’s no wonder that Health Canada recommends sharing meals with friends and family whenever possible.

Karolina Otto, a registered dietitian with Real Canadian Superstore, shares a few of the best reasons to spend more time together around the table eating.

Culture

Eating with family helps pass on food traditions. Expanding your food repertoire is an excellent way to try new things and experience other cultures first-hand.

Social

Eating together fosters social connections. A paper from the Vanier Institute of the Family suggests that family meals are associated with benefits for youth, spanning mental health and literacy.

Nutrition

Eating as a family is tied to healthier weight and superior food choices among children — kids who eat dinner with their families also have more fruit and veggies and less unhealthy foods. Meal time with friends may also expand kids’ horizons since food choices are heavily influenced by role models like peers and parents.

Security

Regular meal times provide reassurance for kids. Knowing they’ll have breakfast or dinner at home is one less thing for them to stress out about in the morning or after a long day at school.

– News Canada

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