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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
mealtime c3

Studies Show Benefits to Eating Meals Together at Home

Posted by Jenna Smith -

How many times have you, your spouse and kids eaten together at home as a whole family this week? Go ahead and count, I'll wait.... Was it twice, four times, ten times? Well, hopefully it was more than just once or twice. Research studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign show some very real benefits to eating family meals at home. Published in the May 2nd issue of Pediatrics, researchers found that youngsters who joined family members regularly for meals were 24 percent more likely to eat healthy foods than kids who rarely ate with their families. They were also less likely to suffer from eating disorders.

Let me give you 10 good reasons to eat together.

  1. Kids do better in school.
  2. Teens are less likely to use alcohol or drugs.
  3. Kids have fewer behavior problems.
  4. Family communication improves.
  5. Kids like having time to talk to the adults in their lives.
  6. Kids understand their family's values.
  7. Traditions are created around meals.
  8. Meals are more healthful.
  9. Food dollars are better spent.
  10. Time is better used because the family only cooks one meal.

Strive for at least 5 family meals eaten together at home. Yes, you're busy. But that doesn't mean family meal time has to suffer. Gather the family and enjoy good food and good company!

Baked Chicken Nuggets (makes 4 servings)

1 ½ pounds chicken

1 cup corn flakes, crumbs

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon Italian herb seasoning

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon onion powder

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove skin and bone of chicken; cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Place cornflakes in a plastic bag and crush by using a rolling pin.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to crushed cornflakes. Close bag tightly and shake until blended.
  4. Add a few chicken pieces at a time to crumb mixture. Shake to coat evenly.
  5. Lightly grease a cooking sheet. Place chicken pieces on cooking sheet so they are not touching.
  6. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis per serving: 230 Calories, 7 grams fat, 140 milligram cholesterol, 200 milligrams sodium, 7 grams carbohydrate, 34 grams protein

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