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

Food Trends: Macros Misconstrued

Oh Macros, how I love thee. You are the foundation of my nutrition recommendations. You should be individualized and different for everyone although you are "prescribed" routinely the same person to person. You are scientific, there is not a one size fits all, and frankly you are misunderstood.

A couple of years ago Macros started to become more popular in the www world when a brilliant someone decided to market magical macro percentages to induce weight loss, body massing, and everything else under the sun. The thought process is to start with grams of protein needs dependent on body weight, to then look at range of fats between 25-35% dependent on goals and body type, and to provide the remaining of your macro goals from carbohydrates.  How easy, especially since everyone has the same protein needs, insert sarcasm here.

Right away many bought into this bullet proof hope and we now have too many folks determining and "prescribing" ratios for people who aren't …

A Note to Self before "Bathing Suit Season"

We are coming up on Memorial Day Weekend. The pools will open, beach season begins, and everyone is scurrying around to buy new bathing suits or cover ups. Although I LOVE summer there's an aspect of this time of year that I very much dislike.  I absolutely cannot stand the insecurity bathing suits bring to the mind. How many of your friends' Facebook and Instagram posts read "Gotta get bikini ready" or "I'm not ready for bathing suit season?" It's on everyone's minds and we have much better things to worry about people.

The fact of the matter is that MOST people feel vulnerable in a bathing suit. Think about it you are practically naked and I'm pretty sure the woman whose body modeled your final product may have had longer legs or is 15 years old.

Is it really worth allowing yourself to feel vulnerable and insecure over something that realistically isn't even created to showcase your body's strengths?  What in the world does how yo…

EAT TO RUN

I am a runner, although not currently training for anything. I started off running track in high school, short distance sprints ( an 800 was LONG for me) and I've always run many miles with my soccer endeavors.  In college I dabbled with running longer mileage but would cap it at 30 minutes. Ahhh the days of exercising 30 minutes a day, I remember those!!  

Shortly after I had my second child I realized how crazy life was with two children under the age of 18 months. I started running for two reasons: 1) It was the only time I had to myself  2) I lost so much of my core strength and endurance with back to back pregnancies I needed my strength back.  I've run 5 half marathons, many 10 milers and more than I can count 10 Ks, 5 milers, and 5 K's. My closet is lined with ribbons, medals, and trophies and even some podium awards.

Once I felt I mastered my running goals, and tired or runners knee,  I started competing in triathlons. What a challenge! I was stoked to make the p…