Families who eat together at the dinner table are the healthiest, a new study has found.
A team of researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey noted mums and dads who set structured meal times are more likely to offer their kids calcium-rich foods, fruit and vegetables.
In addition, youngsters will not consume as much poor produce – such as burgers, chips and sugary drinks – if they sit with their parents when eating, while children in families with frequent sit-down meals tend to have lower body mass index.
The researchers stated they hope the literature "will lead to interventions that benefit a wide range of children".
This highlights the importance parents should place on making sure all of the family are in the same place at dinner time.
Spokesman for the National Obesity Forum Tam Fry recently urged mothers and fathers to do their utmost to encourage kids to eat healthily.
He added a stronger stance on the issue is also required by many schools in the UK.