By: Sue Borra, RD, Chief Health and Wellness Officer for FMI and Executive Director of the FMI Foundation
Family Shadows

In our recent Shopping for Health report, conducted with Rodale Inc., we asked parents with children, ages 0 – 17, about their shopping, cooking and family meal habits. We know that juggling work, kids and the busy demands of daily life can make it difficult to achieve a family meal at home. Here’s what we found:

  • Fifty-seven percent of shoppers with kids eat dinner with their kids every night. Interestingly, fewer than half of dads eat dinner with their kids every night (46 percent), while two-thirds of moms do (66 percent). In an ideal world, three out of four parents said they would want to eat with their kids every night.


  • For parents who didn’t eat dinner with their kids every night, the top tactics to creating more family meals was to serve more meals their kids enjoy at 47 percent. Coming in second was the tactic of making sure everyone is home at dinner time (42 percent).


  • When it comes to parents’ buying decisions, their kids’ taste preferences ranked highest at 95 percent. But the good news is that items that are nutritious for children came in close behind at 91 percent.


  • Parents say their want help from grocery stores to make family meals happen. One in three would like grocery stores to provide more kid-friendly recipes in store and display foods in combination for an easy meal. Following closely behind at 30 percent, shoppers want more ready-to-eat foods kids like in supermarkets.

As we near September, National Family Meals Month™ food retailers and food supplies can provide solutions to make family meals at home easier. Clearly shoppers want to make family meals a priority and are looking for their supermarket to be a strong partner in this effort. Join the movement to help families share one more meal together each week. Learn more, get the resources you need, and sign up at