Fall Feast: Family Dinners

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.



Thanksgiving Day is coming soon, and it’s time to plan your family feast. This week on Health Watch, we’ll talk about what you need to know to plan a Thanksgiving dinner that will help, not hinder, your family’s health. Regardless of what you eat, just having a family feast could be good for your children.

Studies have shown that teens whose families sit down to dinner together are less likely to use tobacco, drugs or alcohol; commit suicide; or suffer from depression. They’re also more likely to have higher grades and overall better nutrition. Cindy Cunningham, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says it’s not really what you eat that’s important but rather spending time together as a family and communicating with each other. Don’t limit meals like this to major holidays like Thanksgiving. Try to schedule several nights a week to turn off the television and eat together, even if you’re just reheating leftovers or having take-out.   

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November 2011

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