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Research has shown that sitting down for a family meal is a good way to get kids to adopt a healthy diet. However, parents can use other tricks to get their children to eat right even if a family meal isn’t possible. This is especially true in households where vegetables and fruits are readily available and kids see their parents routinely consume them.
This study surveyed about 2,500 Minnesota teenagers, and it was found that even without regular family meals, participating in these other practices had a positive association on overall fruit and vegetable consumption among teens. For parents, the takeaway is that the more you do to promote healthy eating at home, the better that children will benefit. While this may be difficult for low-income families, researchers suggest canned vegetables and fruits and buying fresh produce when it’s on sale or in season to ease the financial strain.
These findings were published in the December 2016 edition of the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics.