Getting kids to eat veggies when there's no time for family meals

December 23, 2016
in Kids

Eating meals as a family is a proven way to get kids to follow healthier diets, but there are other tricks parents can try when there's no way to get everyone around the same table, a recent study suggests. In homes where family meals were rare, children ate more fruits and vegetables when these items were readily available and they routinely saw parents consume them too, the survey of about 2,500 teens in Minnesota found. "Interestingly, we found that in the absence of regular family meals these other parenting practices had a positive association with teen fruit and vegetable consumption, that their independent effect appeared to be greater than family meals alone, and that the combination of regular family meals and healthful parenting practices had the largest positive associations with teen fruit and vegetable intake," said lead study author Allison Watts of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis. "For parents, this means that the more of these positive things you can do in your home, the greater the benefits," Watts said by email. "However, if you aren't able to have regular family meals, it's worth focusing on other positive practices like making sure fruits and vegetables are available and easy for your kids to access (cut up, on the counter), encouraging your kids to eat fruits and vegetables, and modeling this desired behavior as...

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