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  • Food For Thought
    Research Reveals Students Who Dine at Home With Family Make Higher Test Scores
    Page 3
    Continued from page 2
    Italian Memories

    by Cookie Curci

    Reasons listed for this new trend included, conflicting work schedules, no time to cook, don't know how to cook, or they just preferred to watch television. According to Tufts University, national studies show that more than 80 percent of parents consider eating dinner with their children very important, but less than 50 percent actually sit down together on a daily basis.

    What's more, these percentages decrease as children get older. Soccer practice dates, shopping at the malls, homework, and hanging out with friends, take a toll on family mealtime. Then, too, as children age they become more independent -- physically, emotionally and financially.

    Most teens can -- if they wish -- remove themselves from family either by foot, bike or car. And many teens and preteens have enough cash to buy fast food away from home. Things have changed, no doubt about it, In my generation we ate only the food mom prepared from her kitchen goods. Even if there were shopping malls or fast food chains my generation of kids never had enough money of our own to eat there, nor would we ever want to!

    Harvard Medical School has documented this new trend in America’s eating habits. In a Harvard study, only 43 percent of more than 16,000 children ate dinner daily with members of their family. More than half of the 9-year-olds ate family dinners daily, whereas only about one-third of 14 year-olds did so. The decrease in family dining has evolved over time as families are pressured to divide their time and interest into a range of endless sports and school activities and committee meetings.

    I sure hope the sales clerk was mistaken. When he said the big dinning table is on its way out. I would hate to think that the coming generation is going to miss out on the fun and enjoyment I knew as a kid growing up in the 1940s and 50s.

    How we all sat together around Grandma's big oak dinning table exchanging stories, and inspirations, as we enjoyed wonderful home cooked meals and created good eating habits. Like my mother always said: "Out of our habits we build our character on our character we build our destiny."

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