By Caitlyn Kambouroglos, Registered Dietitian
In September of 2015 the Food Marketing Institute Foundation launched National Family Meals Month. The initiative was created to help Americans aim to start having more meals at home as a family. Of course with the understanding that family can be defined in a variety of ways. Since the pandemic, consumers have been putting more of an emphasis on family meals with 89% saying that they have either maintained the number of family meals they are eating or have increased them.
Many research studies show that family meals lead to improved physical and mental health. In addition, they also help to improve nutritional intake including fruit and vegetable consumption. Enjoying a meal together can help with communication, problem solving and ultimately deepen your relationship as a family. Parents can also play a key role by modeling good nutrition which can lead to better weight management overall.
Involve children in the meal planning and cooking process. Allowing them to learn how to prepare simple dishes can help them to understand that food preparation is a part of a healthy lifestyle. In the age of constant distractions and technology, try to be present and focus your attention on the people sitting across the table from you. By limiting distractions, it also makes it easier to eat slowly and chew food properly. This can help to ease digestion and improve satiety. It just goes to show that something as simple as a family meal can make a big impact on you and your family’s health.
The Food Industry Association. FMI. (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2023, from https://www.fmi.org/
The FMI Foundation. (2022). National Family Meal Month . Arlington .
*This is not meant to be personal medical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information.