By: Tabitha Benefield, Manager, Nutrition, Health & Well-being, FMI

Family meals Have Always Been One of the Best Healthy Habits infographicThis fall, FMI made a huge splash during National Family Meals Month by strengthening our partnership with USDA’s MyPlate. Together, we created resources that spotlight the year-round FMI Foundation Family Meals Movement initiative and the MyPlate infographics. As a result, we proudly share our first ever co-branded FMI Family Meals Movement and MyPlate infographics.

These free resources are available to the public at FMI and coming soon to the website.

The congruences between the Family Meals Movement and MyPlate have long been recognized and this year we set out to elevate the shared messages of both initiatives. Dr. Caree Cotwright, Director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity for USDA is steadfastly driving the mission to “make MyPlate a household brand” while guaranteeing access to healthy, safe and affordable foods. Dr. Cotwright has played an instrumental role in cementing the relationship between FMI Family Meals and MyPlate.

What is the importance of National Family Meals Month?

The Family Meals Movement sets out to make family meals a household habit all year long. In 2020, the National Family Meals Month campaign became the year-round Family Meals Movement. This shift allowed the Family Meals Movement to be even more vigilant in proclaiming the benefits of family meals outside of September. More than 35 years of research and thousands of studies documents that family meals:

  • Offer advantages for both physical and mental health.
  • Enhance family functioning, connectedness, communication, expressiveness and problem-solving.
  • Are linked with improved overall mental health, resulting in lower rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, tobacco use and early teenage pregnancy.
  • Foster a sense of belonging through moments of connection, leading to greater self-confidence, increased resilience and higher self-esteem.
Why are the MyPlate co-branding of FMI Family Meals Movement resources important?

MyPlate is the visual tool that brings messaging from the Dietary Guidelines to consumers:

The basic message of MyPlate is simple: “The benefits of healthy eating add up over time, bite by bite. Small changes matter. Start Simple with MyPlate.”

  • Designed to help people of all ages make small changes that can have positive effects that add up over time.
  • Resonates with all food groups, the entire store, all foods fit.
  • Moderation, balance, variety and choice
  • Allows for cultural relevance, promotes personalization, own definition of “family.”
  • Promotes access to nutritious, affordable, practical family meals.

FMI has continued to support and encourage policy efforts that align with the Dietary Guidelines.

As a MyPlate National Strategic Partner, FMI works closely with the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion team – we remain in step with the mission to raise awareness for MyPlate ensuring that more Americans have access to nutritious food and the tools they need to make healthier choices, all while recognizing the importance of keeping things practical, meaningful and fun. Join the movement and become a MyPlate National Strategic Partner and more.

National Family Meals Toolkits     MyPlate Resources