Researchers at the University of Granada have found a link between nutritional status of children, and who prepares their meals. They concluded that eating at home rather than grabbing food on-the-go or at restaurants can prevent childhood obesity.
The study’s participants were 718 public and private school students in Spain between the ages of 9 and 17. Out of the children surveyed, those whose mothers prepared their lunches were much less likely to be obese than those who had lunch prepared by someone outside the family.
While the benefits of home-cooked meals have long been known, this study’s strong conclusion adds to an ever-growing body of research that links convenience food with the serious problem of childhood obesity.
Here are some tips for busy families:
1. Prepare for breakfast the night before. Set bowls and cutlery on the table, along with cereal and fruit. In the morning, all you have to do is pour the milk.
2. Dedicate Sunday evenings to prepare for lunches for the week. Wash, cut and bag celery, carrots and fruit. In the mornings, just throw them into lunch bags/boxes, along with a sandwich.
3. Crockpot it! Throw food into a crockpot and let it do the work for you. When you get home from a long day, all you have to worry about is eating. Click here for some great recipes.
4. Don’t stress: Meals don’t have to be gourmet. Hummus, whole grain crackers and some raw vegetables cut into sticks can be a simple meal.