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Family Meals Are Worth the Time

by Tristin Bolton, Crawford County SNAP-Ed Agent - June 12, 2023

multigenerational family enjoying cooking together

In a world full of constant movement and activities, it can be hard to find time for sit down family meals. Now that youth are out of school for the summer and the sun stays out longer, it can be a great time to make time for family meals. It's important to set aside time each day to sit down together for a meal. There is a growing body of research that supports the importance of family meals. 


Why are family meals important? 

  • Increased family meals are associated with eating more fruits and vegetables.
  • Regular family meals are linked to better vocabulary and grades in school.
  • Youth who participate in family meals are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
  • Adults and youth who eat meals at home are less likely to suffer from obesity.


How can we enjoy more family meals together?

Encourage your family to actively participate in the meal planning, preparation, and clean up. Remember a meal doesn’t have to be complicated or made from scratch. Here are some tips for making family mealtime a positive experience:

  • Plan meals ahead of time.
  • Schedule a set time for meals.
  • Involve all family members in the meal prep and clean up.
  • Turn off the TV, phones and all other electronic devices.
  • Avoid pressuring anyone to try a food they would rather not try or eating more or less than they would like.
  • Have pleasant conversation and leave discipline and other negative comments or emotions for another time.

It's important to set aside time each day to sit down together for a meal. People who eat more meals together eat more fruits and vegetables, and have better diets in general. Family meals also improve family connectedness, communication, expressiveness and problem solving.