To reduce stress, eat with your children!

To eat better and lower stress levels, the American Heart Association recommends eating meals with family or friends.

By Johanna Amselem

Sharing a meal as a family has many health benefits.
Sharing a meal as a family has many health benefits.

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IIt’s 7 p.m., the kids are showered, now it’s time to make them dinner. For many children, this key moment at the end of the day often takes place alone, without the parents. However, everyone would benefit from breaking these (bad) habits, according to the results of a study published by the American Heart Association. Scientists have questioned the positive impact of family meals on mental well-being. First learning: eating all together would help reduce stress and therefore limit the risk of developing heart disease or the occurrence of a stroke (stroke).

According to the researchers, 91% of American parents surveyed in this study reported reduced stress when their whole family ate at the same time. “Sharing meals with others is a great way to reduce stress, build self-esteem and improve social bonds, especially for children,” says American Heart Association volunteer Erin Michos. , associate director of preventive cardiology at Johns-Hopkins.

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Before completing: “Chronic and constant stress can also increase your lifetime risk of heart disease and stroke, so it is important that people find ways to reduce and manage stress as much as possible, as soon as possible. possible. Hence the interest of having meals as a family, this ritual responding to many problems: it allows you to reduce stress levels, to connect with other people to restore social ties and to take your time. The opportunity, too, to take off from his computer and zap his emails. For the whole family, it’s also a time to discuss their day, tell stories, laugh together, etc.

Eat together to eat better

Of the 1,000 American adults surveyed, 84% wish they could share a meal more often with loved ones, and nearly all parents report lower levels of stress within their family when they get together around the dinner table regularly. They are 67% to ensure that a shared lunch or dinner reminds them of the importance of social ties (with friends, colleagues, family, etc.).

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Another advantage of eating surrounded: making better food choices. A previous study published in 2018 confirmed that young people who ate their meals with their families were more likely to abandon junk food and fast foods in favor of fresh fruits and vegetables. “We know it’s not always as easy as it sounds to get people together at mealtimes. Like other healthy habits, give yourself permission to start small and build from there,” recommends Erin Michos. Why not try to meet up with family or friends once a week?

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