Skip to main content

Family Nutrition: Mealtime- important through teenage years and beyond

We’ve all heard it.  It is important to value mealtime and eat with your family each night.  Some of us are champs at this and some struggle to get it all together.  This is something I sometimes struggle with which is why I was so interested at the findings of Fiese and Amber Hammons who reviewed 17 studies involving nutrition and eating patterns.  Results were published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

After reviewing more than 182,000 adults and children, results showed that teenagers who ate at least five meals a week with families had  35% less of a risk in disordered eating. It also found that those who ate at least three meals a week with their families were 12% less overweight and were 24% more likely to eat healthy foods than those who did not share family mealtime.

Researchers suggest that if mealtime is not a forced activity children and teenagers are more likely to be more connected to their family and talk about unhealthy behaviors.  One cannot argue that eating together also gives the parents a chance to evaluate their child’s eating patterns.

National surveys suggest that shared mealtime drops significantly in the teen years secondary to after school activities, jobs, and social lives.  If you are in the teen years or close, here are a couple of suggestions to help get you to the minimum of three shared meals a week.

1)      Plan which nights you will eat together and put in on the calendar so everyone’s calendars are synched.
2)      Have dinner around the same time on these three nights.
3)      Plan ahead by insuring you know what meals you will serve and that you have the right ingredients to remove any chaos from the event.
4)      Get your kids involved with the cooking if possible.
5)      Allow for open communication.

Disordered eating in this study is labeled as binging and purging, taking laxatives or diuretics, taking diet pills, self-induced vomiting, fasting, eating little, skipping meals, and smoking cigarettes to lose weight.  Be on the look out for cues to disordered eating.  Do you eat at least three meals a week together as a family?  If you don’t here’s to getting there. Good luck and be well. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Truth Behind Clean Eating

A quick trip to the grocery store or chain restaurant and you will likely be bombarded with the concept of “clean eating” foods that claim to be “organic”, “natural”, “non GMO”, and “gluten free”. There is also the laundry list of foods you should avoid such as high fructose corn syrup, processed foods, and various toxins or chemicals. As a consumer it can be very overwhelming and intimidating to choose which foods are best for you.
While clean eating is not a new sensation, it has become increasingly popular in part due to misinformation on social media. Fear mongering is the latest marketing strategy in which companies are deliberately arousing fear in consumers to help sell their product. For example, products claim to be non-GMO when in fact it is not produced as a GMO food in the first place. There are only 8 genetically modified crops commercially prepared in the U.S. Products that have never contained gluten have a “Gluten free” label on them. Then there is the irrational conce…

You are what you eat BUT it takes longer than a day!

Recent research by Cornell University published a week ago in the New England Journal of Medicine proves that holiday weight gain does happen and most of it is from October to about ten days after Christmas.  The study analyzed 3,000 individuals over a years time focusing on daily weights that were collected and analyzed by a wireless Withings Scale.

Although the average weight gain from October to November was only 1.3 pounds this may prove that holiday weight gain is not a myth. Of interest, the study also showed that fifty percent lost the weight shortly after the holiday season while it took the other fifty percent about five months to lose the excess weight, shortly after Easter.
Author Dr. Wansink advises “Instead of a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, have an October resolution not to gain too much weight in the first place. Then you won’t have to worry about five months of struggling."
At Kindred Nutrition we tend to agree with Dr. Wansink's advice.  Our society is s…

Make it Happen

Parents, I see you. I see you putting everyone else's needs in front of yours. I see your dark circles under your eyes, your gray hair, that your wasting away, or that you've collectively gained weight over the years. It's time to put yourselves first because if you don't take care of yourself you won't be around to keep taking care of everyone else.

So often friends, acquaintances, or clients say to me, "I don't know how you find the time to exercise." "How can you take the time away from everything else and get away to exercise?" "I wish I could actually focus on myself and exercise."

Exercise to me is self care. It produces endorphins faster than any other activity I engage in. It  reduces my stress, keeps me healthy, increases flexibility, and gives me more energy to be on point with my busy kids and my demanding job.

My exercise isn't extravagant and it doesn't take too much time. Here's my secret. I always work e…