By: Adam Friedlander, MS, CFS, Manager, Food Safety and Technical Services, FMI

washing-vegetablesAs a millennial food scientist with a passion for food safety education, I recognize the importance of family meals. At the intersection of health and well-being and food safety, the Family Meals Movement signifies community service, inclusion, respect and a drive to build a brighter future together. There is an enduring opportunity to strengthen consumer trust by educating children and adults on the importance of hygiene and overall health and well-being to prepare simple, affordable  and exciting family meals while keeping foods safe at home. 

Below are key resources to help our nation stay strong with family meals.  

Food Safety

As demonstrated in observational research studies, we know consumers are more likely to follow standard food safety practices when they are given simple instructions within recipes. The Safe Recipe Style Guide delivers a foundational template to help home-cooks (including children) focus on hand washing, safe cooking temperatures, reducing cross-contamination and produce safety. With a spotlight on embedding food safety instructions within recipes, families can reduce meal fatigue and decrease the risk of preventable foodborne illness. 

To learn more about building strong consumer food safety cultures, please visit the Partnership for Food Safety Education

Health and Well-being

Highlighting health and well-being programs can boost community participation in family meals while providing much needed nourishment to the mind, body and soul. FMI provides detailed resources on dietary guidelines, nutrition assistance programs, self-care tips, meal planning ideas and conversation starters to encourage widespread participation in the family meals movement. In a recent study funded by the FMI Foundation, researchers suggested a positive correlation between family meal frequency and dietary outcomes, including an increase in fruit and vegetable intake. 

To learn more about how leaders within the food industry are promoting nutrition assistance and health and well-being, please visit Family Meals Movement Spotlight

Stay Strong 

According to FMI 2020 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, 40% of American adults say they are cooking more at home since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but 21% of adults are voicing concern over a lack of resources to pay for food that feeds their family. In this time of uncertainty, food industry and non-profit leaders can help strengthen the Family Meals Movement by continuing to serve as a source of reliability and inspiration within the community. With a focus on critical hygiene and health and well-being outreach, children and adults can join the conversation in building a safer and healthier food system. 

Join the Family Meals Movement