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Families who regularly eat together are more likely to consume more fruits, vegetables, grains and calcium-rich foods, according to Welch’s Kitchen Table Report.
And while many may think the traditional family meal is an outdated concept, the study found that 71 percent of respondents said their families eat dinner together as often as or more today than their families did when they were children. Additionally, 84 percent of respondents said that one of their favorite parts of the day is when their family eats together.
"Parents are making mealtimes a priority in order to share a moment with their children," said Sarah-Jane Bedwell, registered dietitian and member of Welch's Health and Nutrition Advisory Panel. "That's good news because research has shown an association between regular family meals and improved family nutrition."
Despite this trend, however, the modern American family still faces challenges that impact family mealtime. Four in 10 survey respondents cite the lack of time to cook meals, especially healthy meals, as a top barrier to sharing family meals.
"There are easy solutions to combat the common obstacles facing families at mealtime," said Casey Lewis, a registered dietitian and Welch's Health and Nutrition Lead. "Our experts on the Welch's Health and Nutrition Advisory Panel have created an online toolkit to help families enjoy more happy and healthy mealtimes together."
Concord, Mass.-based Welch's is a processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative. Welch’s products are sold throughout the United States and in approximately 50 countries worldwide.