By: Cathy Polley, RPh, Vice President, Health & Wellness, FMI & Executive Director, FMI FoundationGold-Plate_Mars

Participating in September National Family Meals Month is certainly not restricted to food retailers. Winning the 2015 Food Manufacturer Category Gold Plate Award, Ben’s Beginners™ is a national program from the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand that takes an interesting approach to helping families commit to family meals.  The program promotes healthier eating habits by providing opportunities for children to learning how to cook. By emphasizing the child’s role in family meals, the Ben’s Beginners™ program inspires children to want to participate in home-cooked meal prep and teaches them valuable life lessons regarding dietary decision making. In addition to learning skills, this program’s approach also helps create beneficial amounts of family quality time during meal preparation and even while dining. 

“Mars is honored to be recognized by FMI for bringing families together through Ben’s Beginners™,” said Lara McCauley, vice president of corporate affairs, Mars Food North America, the parent company of the UNCLE BEN’S® Brand. “Through Ben’s Beginners™ we’ve seen thousands of families connecting in the kitchen which helps encourage children to learn this crucial life skill of cooking so they are able to build healthy eating habits they can carry with them for life.”

For more resources and information to help you join in National Family Meals Month visit or access pre-recorded webinars reflecting data from FMI’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2015 report here.