Regular family meals round a table can increase kids’ fruit and vegetable intake, and make it easier for them to reach the recommended five portions a day, according to a new research. The World Health Organisation recommends a daily intake of five 80g portions of fruit and vegetables to promote good health and stave off serious disease and obesity in later life.
The home environment is likely to be a key factor, because this is where dietary habits are developed and cues taken from parents who exert the most influence on the quality of a child’s diet, the researchers said.
They therefore looked at the diets of more than 2000 primary school children, attending 52 different schools across London.
In the final analysis, those children who always ate family meals together had higher nutrient intake than those whose families sometimes ate together (4.6 portions) and those whose families never did so (3.3 portions).