I never thought I'd see the day that we would solve the childhood obesity problem but, well, here it is. The solution has just been discovered by a researchers at Rutgers University and it's a lot simpler than anything you could have imagined.

So what's the secret ingredient to making sure our kids grow up healthier? It turns out that the habit of getting together for nightly family dinners actually helps kids be skinnier and happier. Not only does the regular family tradition help you save money and connect with your children but it also helps to keep everyone's waist size down.

Read more ¿Qué más? How to stay thin and still have your big family dinners.

The researchers at Rutgers University reviewed 68 different studies that had been done on family meals and eating behaviors. Their findings were impressive and surprising. Family mealtime has a lot of benefits, but the people who benefit the most are the kids. When kids eat dinner with their families, they tend to eat healthier foods like fruits and vegetables and not as much junk food. They also have lower body mass indexes and do better emotionally, such as being less likely to be depressed because they feel that their families were supportive. Researcher Jennifer Martin-Biggers explains:

We believe that spending that family time together may provide a platform allowing parents and children to interact and for parents to teach children healthy habits. The increased focus on food and eating may be a mechanism behind the improved diets families tend to show when they eat together.

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I've long suspected that family meals may be key to keeping kids healthy but this new research really proves it. Although I regret that I didn't get to sit down for dinner with my parents as frequently as we should have, one thing's for sure: I'll be sitting down for dinner with my own kids more often than not. I wanted to do it simply because I like cooking and sharing time together but if it helps to keep them healthy and happy, then all the better.

Do you regularly get together with your kids for family mealtime?

Image via Thinkstock

About the author

Irina Gonzalez is a Staff Writer for MamásLatinas. She loves pop culture, social media, photography and, above all, discovering new places. She's also a foodie eating healthy and learning to enjoy exercise.

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