What is the Family Meals Movement?
What began as a campaign to shine a light on the importance of family meals during one month in 2015 has grown exponentially ever since. Hundreds of health professionals, community groups, retailers and manufacturers have embraced the concept and have started to promote family meals throughout the year.
The stay-at-home realities of the global pandemic created increased opportunities for family meals resulting in new-found awareness and appreciation for the benefits of eating together.
The month of September will continue to serve as an opportunity to accentuate the value of family meals. However, it is clear that support of family meals has evolved to be far more significant. Tt has become a social movement – The #FamilyMealsMovement.
What is National Family Meals Month?
Each September, our country celebrates National Family Meals Month™ - a nationwide event designed to support families in enjoying more meals together using items purchased at the grocery store and, as a result, reap the many health and social benefits of doing so.
The aim is simple: commit to staying strong with family meals. You can do this by pledging to have one more meal together, at home, per week. We know this isn't always easily done. That’s where we come in. You bring the desire and we bring the support.
September is the perfect month to join in the movement and to commit to one more meal at home per week this September for #FamilyMealsMonth!
The data on why family meals matter is overwhelming.
Family meals nourish the spirit, brain and health of all family members. For example:
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 more frequent family dinners (more than three per week) are:
less likely to have abused prescription drugs or to have used an
illegal drug other than marijuana or prescription drugs
less likely to have used marijuana
less likely to have used tobacco
less likely to have used alcohol
When we were six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, we discovered that Americans were using family meals to stay strong – physically and emotionally – during the global pandemic. Better yet, they planned to continue this positive practice when the world returns to a new normal.
The “Staying Strong with Family Meals” Barometer is a recurring consumer survey tracking family meal behaviors and habits that started in August 2020 and is ongoing. The latest data reveals that Americans are cooking more with their families and having more family meals.
This barometer shows how people are benefiting from family meals and why we should all continue this healthy habit. For instance, nine out of 10 Americans express positive sentiments about the family meals experience. They boast that family meals:
Beyond these positive vibes, Americans are experiencing tangible value. Seventy percent of those having in-person family meals or cooking family meals together feel more connected.
The will to return to the table exists, but families need a friendly, familiar voice to show them the way. That voice is food retail, and the way is the National Family Meals Movement.
Join us in making a difference during National Family Meals Month™ this September.