Health Watch - Preparing for School: Family Meals

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This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about getting ready to go back to school. As the new school year begins, consider starting a new family routine that can help your kids do better in school: eat dinner together.

Cindy Cunningham, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says studies have shown that family meals have a number of benefits. When families eat meals together, kids are less likely to use tobacco, alcohol or drugs or be depressed. Kids who eat meals with their families tend to do better in school, eat more fruits and vegetables and have better overall nutrition. Family schedules can be hectic, with work and activities getting in the way, but Ms. Cunningham says you don’t have to make the meals elaborate. The important thing is shutting out distractions, eating together and talking, even if you do it over take-out. Once you’ve made it a habit, you may be able to focus on making more nutritious meals.    

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.


August 2009

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