There is a growing body of evidence that proves that family meals are good for children. Not only are they a great way for the family to spend some quality time together each day, they are shown to have long term health benefits and even reduce children’s risk of obesity.
It is true that busy modern lives leave little time for sitting and having meals together each day, however researchers have found one more reason for families to eat together:
In a recent study involving asthmatic children conducted by Barbara H. Fiese, professor of human and community development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, it was found that frequent family meals tend to lessen the stress and separation anxiety that asthmatic kids feel, which may trigger or exacerbate the symptoms of their asthma.
The hypotheses were (a) that symptom severity of asthma can be influenced by separation anxiety and (b) that family meals are able to create the sense of security and support for the children which in turn lessens their anxiety.
Researchers found that as a result of supportive family meals, the lung function of asthmatic children was seen to improve. Moreover the reassurance is offered on a consistent basis because meal times come around every day and benefit from them is constantly forthcoming.