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

As we come to the end of the 2nd National Family Meals Month™, I am convinced that encouraging family meals at home should be a year round promotion. Every September, the FMI Foundation will continue to raise awareness about the important role family meals play in our society, but I am hopeful that the movement will steadily gain momentum and we will witness families enjoying one more meal at home every week of the year.

To help make more family meals a year round reality, here are a few facts from our recent Shopping for Health report, conducted with Rodale Inc., where we asked shoppers about their cooking and family meal habits.

  1. More than half (54 percent) of consumers surveyed report eating a home cooked meal five or more nights a week. Shoppers report spending between 20 and 50 minutes preparing dinner.
  2. When cooking family meals, a variety of methods are used including cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients (47 percent); cooking with a mix of canned, frozen, jarred and/or fresh ingredients (37 percent); and cooking with a mix of fresh and prepared ingredients (36 percent).
  3. When preparing a meal, shoppers like to ensure leftovers with 52 percent of consumers making enough food for one more day.
  4. A product’s healthfulness for children influences 91 percent of parents’ food and beverage purchases.

The resolve to return to the table exists, but consumers tell us that they need help.  Providing convenient and healthy meal and food options and easy recipes are just a few of the ways that food retailers are responding.  How is your organization helping to bring more families back to the table?  We would love to hear about it and recognize your outstanding work.