Family Mealtimes

MealtimesBy Jessica Maple, Salt Lake County Health Department, Health Educator

September is just around the corner, meaning it is time to celebrate sitting down and spending time with your family. That’s right! Family Mealtime is so important that it has a whole month to itself. So why is it important? Some of the reasons include the food being served and the nutrients youth need to grow strong bodies and smart brains. Other reasons include the conversations that are enjoyed around the table which have a positive impact on school performance and choices that come into play during life. With that said, here are the benefits of Family Mealtimes:

Helps promote family togetherness by:
– Improving communication between parents and children & building a sense of family unity and togetherness.

Helps prevent behavior problems by:
– Promoting positive behavior and by reducing the risk of teen drug use, alcohol use, unwanted pregnancies and eating disorders.

Helps children do well in school:
– Children are noticeably happier, healthier, and more successful at school.
– Children learn important language skills, such as new vocabulary and forming sentences from words by listening and communicating around the table.

Helps improve children’s nutrition:
– Meals served to the family during mealtimes naturally tend to be healthier.
– More family meals = more nutrient-rich foods that build strong bodies and smart brains.

Helps prevent weight problems:
– Children are less likely to be overweight.
– Kids are able to develop, at a young age, smart eating habits which will last a lifetime.

Just remember that it is never too late to start having Family Mealtimes. So sit down, relax, and enjoy each other’s presence.

For more information on Family Mealtimes you can call the Salt Lake County Health Department at 385-468-4064. Or if you’d like information on our Strengthening Families program, which is a 10-week researched based program for parents and their teens, you can call 385-468-4528 or visit www.youth.slco.org.

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This entry was posted in Communication Tips, Family Activities, Parenting Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

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