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Everyone ate family meals together when I was growing up in the 50s and early 60s. Back then there was no take-out or a night out at Denny's or Red Lobster.
Commercial eating establishments and the prepared foods from the local supermarket are loaded with health destroying chemicals such as high fructose corn syrup and other artificial sweeteners, excessive sodium, monosodium glutamate, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, and tons of artificial chemicals and preservatives. Chemicals such as monosodium glutamate, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated syrups and the preservatives are not available to the consumer.
Pure ingredients are used in home food preparation. Even table sugar is far less dangerous than artificial sweeteners such as saccharine or aspartame or sucralose (Splenda.) When my mother baked a cake she used pure sugar, eggs, and flour. Look at the ingredients in cakes made by Entenmann's. You practically need a degree in chemistry to be able to pronounce the names.
The primary reason that chemicals with difficult to pronounce names are used in commercial products is to ensure a long shelf life (typically 25 days.) Natural ingredients that can spoil cannot be used. That means that milk, cream, and butter have to be replaced by chemicals that mimic their look, texture, and consistency. For instance, my mother might have used six natural ingredients to bake a cake. But Hostess Twinkies require 39! God only knows how ingredients that Entemann's uses for its cakes.
There is another advantage for eating family meals at home. Research has shown that a family eating setting provides significant benefits for the children. These benefits include improved academic performance and less behavioral problems than children who eat out.
According to a study performed by the University of Missouri-Columbia, watching less television and eating sit-down at home meals will help to prevent children from becoming overweight. The study included 8,000 children from kindergarten to the third grade. Children who watched the most television and ate the fewest meals at a family setting were at the greatest risk for becoming overweight.
In addition to reducing the risk for becoming overweight, other studies have shown that children who eat at home with their parents eat healthier meals than they would away from home. Sara Gable, associate professor of human development and family studies in the MU College of Human Environmental Studies said the following: "I suspect there are other benefits of family meal times that protect children from developing some of the habits that could lead to weight problems."
I brought up this very point in my book Living a God-Glorifying Life Through Good Health. Meals prepared at home are inherently more healthy than those prepared outside the home. At home meals are also prepared with love and care, and the family setting provides security and spiritual harmony.
families that eat together can beat obesity