Quantcast

Bon App tit!

Every parent is looking for experiences that will enrich and protect their children. Would you believe that one of the best things that you can do to protect your children is to have regular meals with them?

The National Center on Substance Abuse and Addiction at Columbia University conducted a 10-year study of how eating five or meals a week with parents or guardians affected risk taking behaviors among youth.

The study found that youth that did not have frequent meals with their family were three-and-a-half times more likely to have used prescription drugs; three-and-a-half times more likely to have used an illegal drug other than marijuana or prescription drugs, three times more likely to have used marijuana, two-and-a-half more times more likely to have used tobacco products and one and a half times likelier to have used alcohol.

When age is factored into the risk calculus, younger children are at the highest risk when not experiencing frequent family meals together. Twelve- and 13-year-olds who have infrequent dinners with family are six times likelier to have used marijuana, more than four-and-a-half times likelier to have used tobacco and two-and-a-half times likelier to have used alcohol. Fourteen- and 15-year-olds who have infrequent dinners are three times likelier to have used marijuana and two-and-a-half times likelier to have used tobacco. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds who have infrequent family dinners are twice as likely to have used marijuana. Most people's lives are busy and many children have schedules that would rival an IBM executive.

Still, having at least one meal, five times a week is not impossible. Cooking with my family and friends is one of my favorite things to do.

Cooking offers the chance for everyone to be involved. If you have young children, consider letting them mix up some Bisquick or make some flour based dough. Let them mix the dough with their hands.

0
Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment