Want to Eat Healthier? Try Eating With Others

From public health sites to the nation’s leading universities, everyone will tell you that sitting down for a family meal is beneficial to a child’s development. It helps kids become less-picky eaters, it can broaden their vocabulary, and it can also help them manage stress and build self-esteem.

But adults get just as much benefit from eating meals with others. For example, when we eat with other people we tend to eat more fruits and vegetables. We also eat less fast food, and are much less likely to skip a meal altogether.

The nutritional benefits are clear. But Anne Fishel points out that the benefits of eating together extend beyond just nutrition. Firefighters who cook and eat together perform better as a team. And parents who eat with their children report better self-esteem and a healthier family dynamic.

Fishel touches on a couple of different ideas, such as whether eating as a family in front of the TV is beneficial (it isn’t), and whether shared meals need to be home-cooked (they don’t). It’s a good reminder that as much as we need to be aware of what we’re eating, we also need to pay attention to how we’re eating.

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