Their findings can serve as guidelines for parents and guardians wanting to help their children establish healthy eating habits. The study’s findings have been published in Health Psychology.
A greater frequency of family meals is known to be associated with better nutritional health in children. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the University of Mannheim have already shown that children from families who eat together more often have a lower body mass index (BMI) and eat more healthily overall. But what exactly it is about family meals that makes them so important for children's nutritional health? “Family meals do not automatically lead to better eating habits. Social, psychological, and behavioral aspects also play an important role,” says lead author Mattea Dallacker of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.