Monday, January 17, 2011

Silver Lining Dept.: More Home Meals

Down economies are apparently good for something. The number of daily family meals eaten at home has made a significant jump, from 52 percent of meals in 2003 to 73 percent in 2010, according to a survey by the American Dietetic Association Foundation.

Among kids surveyed -- the ADA polled 1,193 pairs of parents and children ages 8 to 17 -- 63 percent of Hispanics, 56 percent of African-Americans and 51 percent of Caucasians reported their families eat at fast-food or sit-down restaurants less than once a week or never, according to a report on the survey in the Chicago Tribune.

Not all the news is good, though: 42 percent of Hispanic and Caucasian children and 59 percent of African-American children report sometimes missing breakfast. And just over half the kids reported snacking after school and 24 to 26 report snacking in the evening. Not that snacking is all bad, but health experts say what kids eat as snacks usually isn't as healthy as what they eat in a meal.

Still, 21 percent more meals are being eaten at home? I'd put that in the "whoo-hoo" category if even some of those meals are being cooked at home from fresh foods instead of being picked up from a drive-through on the way home.