Family Breakfast the New Family Dinner? - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Family Breakfast the New Family Dinner?

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There's a lot of buzz about breakfast being the most important meal of the day and new research suggests that how you eat it may be just as important.

For most, a "family meal" means dinner but gathering for family breakfast may be just as, if not more, beneficial, according to a new study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition And Dietetics.

Researchers found that teens who ate breakfast with their families every day were more likely to be at a healthy weight and had diets with higher levels of key nutrients found in milk, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

While most Americans fall short of the recommended servings of milk each day, family breakfast eaters met the recommendations. They and had an average of an extra half glass of milk each day when compared to those who never ate breakfast with their family.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota used data collected from more than 2,500 middle and high school students to analyze how often teens had a family meal at breakfast. They compared those numbers to overall diet quality and body mass index (BMI).

They found:

  • Family Breakfast Less Common than Family Dinner: On average, teens ate breakfast as a family only one to two days per week, and more than half reported never eating breakfast with their family. Family dinner was more common, reported on average about four days per week.
  • Family Breakfast Eaters Had Better Diets: More frequent family breakfast was linked to higher amounts of milk, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium, iron, vitamin D, folate, potassium and fiber in teens' diets.
  • Family Breakfast Eaters More Likely to Be at a Healthy Weight: Regular family breakfast eaters were 25 percent less likely to be obese or overweight, compared to those who never ate family breakfast.


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