Don’t give kids dinner at 5pm dietitian warns – and not because it’s ‘too early’

Congratulations, your little one is now loving solids and will obediently (ish) have three meals a day!

Chances are, if you want your child to settle down to sleep at a decent – and consistent – hour, their tea time falls early in the evening.

If you're a fan of sitting them down for their dinner at 5pm, however, you may want to reconsider.

Alex Parker, dietitian from The Biting Truth, is warning parents about what's at stake by letting your child eat at this time.

"If children are eating at 5pm they are generally eating without their parents," Alex told Kidspot .

"There is a huge amount of evidence to show the positive social skills associated with children eating meals with the family ," she continued.

One huge benefit of your youngster sitting down with the family is that their vocabulary will come on in leaps and bounds.

"Researchers found that for young children, dinnertime conversation boosts vocabulary even more than being read aloud to," she said.

"Dinner is the most reliable way for families to connect and find out what’s going on with each other."

It's also a nice way for the family to come together, and for parents to monitor eating.

"Family dinners provide opportunities for parents to model and regulate for their kids healthy eating habits," said Alex.

"Children who share family meals three or more times per week are more likely to be in the healthy weight range, and have healthier dietary and eating patterns," she said.

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