Extension promotes family mealtime

Scientific research continues to verify what many might consider common sense: Families that regularly eat together eat more nutritiously and the children are less prone to high-risk behaviors.

With that in mind, Gov. Gary Locke has proclaimed October “Eat Better; Eat Together” month. He urges families in Washington state to use the month to establish a routine of regular family meals together.

The effort to promote more family meals is being spearheaded in Washington state by the Nutrition Education Network, an alliance of public and private organizations coordinated through Washington State University Cooperative Extension.

“The challenge to having regular family meals is the increasing demand on our time,” said Sue Butkus, a nutrition specialist at WSU’s Puyallup Research and Extension Center.

A national survey has found that children who regularly eat with their families have fewer behavior problems in school and are significantly less likely to get involved in high-risk behaviors such as drugs, alcohol and early sexual behavior.

Another study verified that adolescents who ate with their families four or five times weekly were significantly more likely to eat more vegetables, fruits and dairy products.

Here are some tips for making family meals together a regular routine:
• Take advantage of the mealtimes your family already enjoys together, and gradually add more meals together.
• Make family meals a priority. Limit distractions.
• It doesn’t have to be dinner. Pick meals that are easiest to get the family together.

More information can be found at http://nutrition.wsu.edu.

Next Story

Recent News

Sweat health monitor measures levels of disease markers

A 3D-printed, wearable health monitor developed by WSU researchers was shown to reliably measure levels of important biochemicals in sweat during physical exercise.

Remembering our history this Juneteenth

WSU System President Kirk Schulz shares a message reminding everyone of the significance and importance of Juneteenth, and the enduring fight for equality that continues today.

Regents approve biennial operating budget request

At a special online meeting on June 17, the WSU Board of Regents approved four action items, including the university’s 2025–27 Biennial Operating Budget Request from the state.

Hot but not bothered

WSU’s new Perennial Grass Breeding and Ecology Farm is developing resilient combinations of grasses that could better withstand hot temperatures.