By: Anna Kanaley, Assistant, Food & Product Safety, Health & Well-being and FMI Foundation, FMI and Haley Pierce, Manager, FMI Foundation
America’s rediscovery of the nutritional, economic, emotional and social benefits of the family meal is one of the few silver linings of the pandemic storm. Families across the country have been able to Stay Strong with Family Meals around the dinner table, even without the pandemic keeping us at home.
National Family Meals Month marks nine years of celebrating the importance of family meals. We encourage states to join food retailers, manufacturers and industry service providers in advocating for more time spent around the dinner table with loved ones by declaring September as National Family Meals Month. The following states have joined the Movement and issued proclamations:
There are many compelling reasons to make family meals proclamations in your state. In addition to bringing people together, it encourages nutritious eating. Meals at home are healthier and improve fruit and vegetable consumption, which affects community health and well-being. Research shows that family meals have numerous health and societal benefits. For example, children and teens who eat more meals with their families have greater success in school and are less likely to experiment with risky behaviors such as drug use, alcohol consumption or smoking. Frequent family meals also enhance family connection and communication, which contributes to increased self-esteem in children and teens. To top it all off, meals prepared and eaten at home are more economical, which frees up funds to reinvest in the community.
Take a seat at the family meals table and encourage your state lawmakers to declare September as National Family Meals Month! Find more resources, including a draft proclamation and model legislation, on the Foundation website.