********************Melissa Crone, guest author
As we grow out of adolescence many of the eating habits that were instilled in our childhood impact the choices we make as adults. These choices can define the quality of our lives. For example, we have all heard of the health benefits of eating breakfast. Did you eat breakfast every day as a child? If you did, you are more likely to continue that trend even when you are responsible for waking yourself up, preparing the food, and cleaning up the mess. On the other hand, if most of your childhood meals were on the go, you are likely to repeat the pattern as an adult, grabbing food with little thought to the nutritional value.
What does this mean? It means you are likely fall into patterns of eating behavior that match what you saw in your childhood home. If you did not eat meals as a family, sit and eat at a table, and make healthful food options a priority, you may be living an adult life that is not as healthy as it could be! Exposure to eating habits influence the choices we make later in life, but they are not set in stone. Like any other habit, with some time and effort they can be changed and new habits can be formed.
Burgess-Champoux, T. L., Larson, N., Neumark-Sztainer, D., Hannan, P. J., & Story, M. (2009). Are family meal patterns associated with overall diet quality during the transition from early to middle adolescence?. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 41(2), 79-86.
For more information on healthy choices see: The United States Department of Agriculture’s page: Choose My Plate