By Dawna Bennett, MS, RD, CDN
September is National Family Meals Month, a nationwide event designed to start a conversation that encourages and inspires people to return to the kitchen to enjoy wholesome meals together. Families who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories, and members of the family have increased self-esteem and well-being, positive social behaviors and stronger family relationships.
According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, children who have family meals three or more times per week:
- Do better in school
- Eat healthier foods
- Have closer relationships with their parents and siblings
- Are less likely to develop disordered eating behaviors
- Resist negative peer pressure
- Are less likely to try drugs or alcohol at an earlier age
Study after study provides significant, measurable scientific proof about the positive, lifelong benefits of family meals. Family meals nourish the spirit, brain and health of all family members. Additionally, children who grow up sharing family meals are more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior as adults, such as sharing, fairness and respect.
Our local grocery stores like Wegmans and Tops Friendly Markets are celebrating National Family Meals Month in September by encouraging customers to share one more meal together per week at home, highlighting affordable healthier meal solutions.
As part of the celebration, Wegmans will be providing information on Twitter and sharing recipes in their e-newsletter. In stores, employees will share ideas that shorten the time it takes to get a meal on the table so there is more time to enjoy being together.
Tops will be sharing great tips for how families can spend more quality mealtime together. Visit Tops’ Facebook page where they are promoting the initiative.
Of course, you can find a wide array of healthy, fresh ingredients for National Family Meals Month at any grocery store near you – including Dash’s Markets, Tops and Wegmans.
Join the movement and commit to one more meal at home per week this September for #FamilyMealsMonth!