Title: The relation between family meals and health of infants and toddlers: a review
|Authors:||Chantal L. Verhage, Marleen Gillebaart, Shelley M.C. van der Veek, Carel M.J.L. Vereijken|
This review of 14 studies investigated whether having family meals was associated with multiple health benefits in children between zero and three years.
Different advantages such as the social aspects and practical considerations of having family meals were mentioned by parents. In addition, the possible mess and planning were mentioned as obstacles. The frequency of family meals was positively associated with more nutrient-dense food intake and a more balanced diet. Further, having structured mealtimes and family meals was associated with more food enjoyment and less fussy and emotional eating.
The review indicates that the pattern of positive associations between family meal and child health which has been shown in older children and adolescents (Martin-Biggers et al., 2014) also exists in infants and toddlers.
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