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The Family That Eats Together, Benefits
Fun alternatives can also strengthen family ties

By Joan McClusky
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 3, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- No doubt that work, school and outside activities can make it hard to schedule regular family dinners. But research has shown that eating together on a regular basis helps to bond families and build good communication.

For children, the benefits range from better grades to getting along well with others. Kids and adults alike are also more likely to eat healthy meals and less likely to be overweight.

When busy schedules make it hard for everyone to sit down to dinner, use other meals to build togetherness. For instance, get everyone up 15 minutes early for a breakfast sit-down, or plan a regular weekend brunch where everyone pitches in. When dinner has to be fast food, eat at the restaurant instead of doing a pickup so you still have the chance to sit and talk, even if only for a few minutes.

There are also plenty of ways to build togetherness in addition to mealtime. Schedule regular outdoor activities, like a weekend walk on a nature trail or an afternoon at the playground. Make plans for a regular indoor activity, like family game night. Or, find a hobby everyone could enjoy. Perhaps take a vote on the activity, and then let each family member choose a role that will keep them involved.

The goal: Building togetherness, whether at the dinner table or beyond.

More information

The Family Dinner Project has more on sharing a meal together -- from easy recipes that involve the whole family to how to start conversations at meals.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=721740

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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