HEALTHBEAT 4: Benefits of families eating together - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

HEALTHBEAT 4: Benefits of families eating together

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In today's world, families are busy with work, activities, and just life in general.

Unfortunately, because of this, the whole family sitting down for dinner, has become rare. 

Research  is beginning to show that eating as a family has great benefits for your children and teens.

"They found that when teens ate family meals at least five times a week with their parents (or one parent),"  said Jean Sterner, Dietitian at Siouxland District Health. "That it reduced the incidents of use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco."

Even though it seems simple, eating dinner together as a family gives kids the opportunity to speak with their parents that they might not have otherwise. 

Getting everyone together for a meal can sometimes seem impossible.

Siouxland District Health, has some tips.

"It doesn't have to be perfect-so not everyone has to be there," said Emily Smith, Dietitian at Siouxland District Health. "It doesn't have to be a perfectly set table or anything like that."

And no need to feel like all the work is on the parent's shoulders- asking kids to help, can also benefit the family. 

"They can help parents prepare some of the food, or they can help set the table," adds Smith. "The point is that everyone should have their own job to do."

The main thing is to get the family together, and simply talk about their day. 

"Even though it seems simple, we never really talk during the day when we're really busy," said Sterner. 

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