CHEERFUL TABLE – HEALTHY KIDS



A pleasant atmosphere at home has a lot of benefits for your children, both physical and psychological. Now, research says that it may even avoid you child becoming overweight and obese. Searchers at the University of Minnesota say that kids are much less prone to becoming obese if their family dinners involved pleasant conversation and positive atmosphere. 

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The researchers have analysed video footage of family mealtimes and have observed that in houses where children are obese, there was a lesser positive ambience in the room. There was more chaos overall says Ms.Berge, a psychologist, who worked on this study. Normal weight kid had a much more encouraging setting and everyone loved each other’s company. 

For the study, researchers had asked families to record every meal using their iPad. 120 families took part in the study and the scientists analysed the overall length of the meal, rated how the interaction was, type of food served and linked these aspects to what was the child’s weight.
The results showed that overweight kids had families who used the mealtime to lecture kids about their homework, chores or any other family issue. There was also a strong link with obesity if the meals were shorter and if the meals were taken in places other than the dining room. The statistics show that obese kids had 13.5 minutes as their average meal time as compared to healthy kids who had 18.2 minutes.
The requirements are simple and very feasible. The children need to feel a sense of security at home and this is reinforced by mealtime which is the maximum time that the family gathers in one place. The knowledge that the child can regulate his or her life will extend their ability to regulate their eating habits.
Normal children also had both parents present during meals. A second parent at the table reduces the chaos and also the child has another role model to look up to for healthy eating. This stability of sitting down together for a long meal where everyone’s opinion are respected and everyone are appreciated goes a long way in influencing children’s eating habits. 

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