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Family Meals Can Strengthen Bonds, Improve Nutrition


During the holidays, many Hoosiers will sit down for family meals and recent data suggests these gatherings can have social, physical and emotional benefits.

Family mealtime can strengthen family connections and improve nutrition, says Indiana Youth Institute President Tami Silverman.

"It’s a protective factor all around, for teens as well as younger kids, so we know that big benefits to sitting down and having a meal together," says Silverman. 

Silverman, who wrote a recent article on the topic, says Indiana youth who share meals with family have reduced risk of behaviors like drinking or violence. They also have improved academics.

"Dinner time conversation increases a young child vocabulary more than being read aloud to," says Silverman. 

Silverman says mealtime can also allow families to work through stressful problems together and provide a good the practice of civil discourse.  

Contact Jill at or follow her on Twitter at @JillASheridan.

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