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Nov. 19 - Eating with your family. Be a role model!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008 1:00 AM

“Children who dine with their family at least four times a week eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and calcium-rich foods, eat fewer fried foods, and drink less soda than children who don’t, according to a study by University of Minnesota researchers. Why? Parents decide what to serve, and everyone eating the same food together is a powerful reinforcer of good habits.  One of the strongest and most important factors that influence children’s diets is what parents eat. If we really want kids to eat healthy, parents have to role model good behavior as well.  The benefits of eating together go far beyond physical health. Researchers found that teens who ate seven or more weekly meals with their families had higher grades, were less depressed, and were less likely to drink, smoke, or use marijuana than kids who ate with their families less than twice a week.  It’s not just about food but also about having that time  together as a family. Mealtimes are an opportunity for family members to check-in with one another and share the highs and lows of the day, discuss and share ideas, and their values. And most importantly, to laugh together!”  Want to read more?  Click on the links section and choose the How to Raise Healthy Kids Handout; available in English, Somali or Spanish language. 

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