The family that eats together stays healthy together. The idea of eating together as a family – even as little as once or twice a week – could discourage childhood obesity, according to newly published research in the Journal of Pediatrics. It’s because of the dynamics involved – the emotional connection, parents making better choices for the family, and parents modeling good behavior. And, with the TV off and with everybody together, people are less likely to just eat for the sake of eating.
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“You can set a timer on the microwave or something to know that after 30 minutes, they have to get up and do something different,” says Dr. Marthe dela Cruz, a pediatrician and assistant professor of pediatrics at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield. “It’s definitely difficult, but just (try) to make that a priority from the beginning, and stick with the rules.”