Family Meals Month

Numerous studies show that home-cooked meals nourish the spirit, brain and health of all family members.

Regular family meals are linked to the kinds of outcomes that we all want for our children: higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits and less risky behavior.

There’s clear evidence the structure of a meal can heavily influence a child’s long-term health. Kids and teens that share meals with their family three or more times per week are significantly less likely to be overweight, more likely to eat healthy foods and less likely to have eating disorders. Source: J. Berge, “The Protective Role of Family Meals for Youth Obesity: 10-year Longitudinal Association. 2014

With each additional family meal shared each week, adolescents are less likely to show symptomsFamily Meals Month – Social Media Postsof depression, less likely to use or abuse drugs and less likely to engage in delinquent acts. Sources: Meier, A. & Musick, K. Variation in Associations Between Family Dinners and Adolescent Well-Being, Journal of Marriage and Family, 2014. Hammonds, A.J. & Fiese, B.A. Is Frequency of Shared Meals Related to the Nutritional Health of Children and Adolescents? Pediatrics 2011

A 2014 study shows that children who grow up sharing family meals are more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior as adults, such as sharing, fairness and respect. Source: De Backer, Charlotte, JS, “Our” food versus “my” food. Investigating the relation between childhood shared food practices and adult prosocial behavior in Belgium, Appetite, 2014

Text adapted from the Food Marketing Institute Family Meals Toolkit.

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