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Family meals can help children reach their 5 A Day: a cross-sectional survey of children's dietary intake from London primary schools
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    Family meals boost children's 5 A Day

    We all know eating together as a family can boost conversation, foster closeness and encourage healthy ways with food. However, a 2011 survey of 1354 people for the insurance firm Cornish Mutual found 48% of British households do not share a meal every day. [1]

    This study shows that by having a family dinner together it can increase children's daily fruit and vegetable intake to reach the 5 A Day target. It reinforces the view that children learn more from what adults do than what they say, therefore it is the parental role modelling that helps shape their future habits.

    The strengths of this study are its large sample size (2383 children) and reliable methods of assessing dietary intake through a validated food intake tool. However, there are limitations which have not been noted by the researchers.

    This is a single sample of London schoolchildren taking part in trials assessing school gardening and diet. We do not know whether the children who were taking part in this trial may have particular characteristics that make them different from, for example, children selected from a completely ra...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.