We are all busy, many of us too busy in our day-to-day lives; we know what stress does to our bodies, but have we ever looked at how our “busy” impacts our children? I read an interesting article on the value of family mealtimes and how longer family meals are healthier for kids. Seriously, adding just 10 minutes to meal time as a family made a significant difference!
Jutta Mata, PhD, University of Mannheim, Germany and colleagues found that in a randomized group of children who spent 50% longer sitting down to meals, approximately 10 minutes, consumed significantly more fruits and vegetables! Say what? Yep, they consumed more healthy options during the meal. On average, they consumed 3.32 more pieces of fruit and 3.66 more pieces of vegetables totaling about one whole portion of food. This sounds small but it is equivalent to one medium apple, remember an apple a day?
Another bonus? The longer mealtimes also resulted in children drinking more water, remember water, clear, non-carbonated, tasteless? The kids studied also chewed slower, reporting higher levels of satiety which may help reduce the risk of obesity. Well, deep subject but seriously, what do you have to lose? You may even have a decent conversation with your teenager (frightening) while improving their overall nutritional status! Stay well and stay informed!