In honor of National Nutrition Month, a positive step toward healthier habits at home may simply involve pulling up a chair at the kitchen table. Research shows that families who regularly eat together are more likely to consume more fruits, vegetables, grains and calcium-rich foods. What is surprising is how frequently family meals are actually happening. A new study shows that American families are stronger than ever - making time to eat together, talk to one another, and enjoy spending time together at meals.
While many may think the traditional ideal of a family gathered for dinner is a memory of a bygone era, Welch's Kitchen Table Report found that 71 percent of respondents say their families eat dinner together as often as or more today than their families did when they were children. Moreover, 84 percent of respondents say that one of their favorite parts of the day is when their family eats together.
"Parents are making mealtimes a priority in order to share a moment with their children," commented registered dietitian and Welch's Health and Nutrition Advisory Panel member, Sarah-Jane Bedwell. "That's good news because research has shown an association between regular family meals and improved family nutrition."
Despite all this good news, the modern American family still faces challenges that impact family mealtime. Four-in-ten survey respondents cite the lack of time to cook meals, especially healthy meals, as a top barrier to family mealtimes.
"There are easy solutions to combat the common obstacles facing families at mealtime," shares Casey Lewis, a registered dietitian and Welch's Health and Nutrition Lead. "Our experts on the Welch's Health and Nutrition Advisory Panel have created an online toolkit to help families enjoy more happy and healthy mealtimes together."
Welch's new toolkit includes family-friendly meal plans, heart-healthy recipes, and meal makeovers. To learn more about this tool and to view the full survey, visit Welchs.com/KitchenTableReport.