Why Family Meals Matter?

Researchers, health experts, popular media, and communities across America are joining the movement to commit to one more meal at home per week every September for #FamilyMealsMonth! Most compellingly, families like yours are joining in and seeing the benefits.  In fact, more than 8 in 10 of those seeing the National Family Meals Month™ campaign say that it is important and, better yet, are taking action to making family meals happen!    

The data on why family meals matter is positively overwhelming.

Studies show again and again the significant, measurable scientific proof about the positive, lifelong benefits of family meals.  Family meals nourish the spirit, brain and health of all family members.

  • Regular family meals are linked to higher grades and self-esteem and delayed sexual activity. 
  • Children who grow up sharing family meals are more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior as adults, such as sharing, fairness and respect. 
  • With each additional family meal shared each week, adolescents are less likely to show symptoms of violence, depression and suicide, less likely to use or abuse drugs or run away, and less likely to engage in risky behavior or delinquent acts.
  • Adults and children who eat at home more regularly are less likely to suffer from obesity.
  • Increased family meals are associated with greater intake of fruits and vegetables.

The danger of fewer family meals is real.

A significant study on the relationship between certain family characteristics and adolescent problem behaviors, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that teens who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are:

Family Meals Matter

Take a closer look. Below are links to supporting research and highlights:

  • Power of Family Meals 2017
  • The Monday Campaigns Shares Advice from A Top Nutritionist in Promotion of Family Meals
  • The Surprising Power of Family Meals
  • The Family-Building Benefits of Frequent Family Dinners
  • The Importance of Family Dinners VIII: A September 2012 CASA White Paper
  • Two Out Of Five Americans Are Dining Out Less Often—With Bigger Benefits than Saving Money
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