You’ve heard it before but it’s worth saying again: Family meals really matter. Study after study has made it clear that having regular unplugged meals together as a family is linked to behaviors all parents want in their kids:
With so much going on around us, mealtime may be the only time for families to connect, debrief, relax and recharge. Having meals together leads to better connection between parents and kids, allows parents to catch concerns and kids to express needs, and creates bonding and trust!
CAFY and Parent Up encourage you to make your meaningful meal time happen. It doesn’t have to be dinner — instead it can be breakfast or an afterschool snack break. It doesn’t have to be a three-course meal — the meal can come from a can, a box, or a bag It doesn’t have to be at home — some nights your dinner table might look more like a parking spot at a fast food chain. It will require 20 minutes of time where everyone is unplugged, talking, and eating together. And research suggests that “regular” is at least 4 times a week. With some consistency and creativity, your efforts will have major payoffs. And we are here to help! Cruise through the resources below to find just the information you need to help your meal times succeed:
The Northland Coalition Prevention Network and Parent Up recently hosted The Family Dinner Project for an engaging webinar for parents and caregivers on the benefits of family meals! Anyone can view a recording of the webinar by registering at tinyurl.com/FamilyMealsMatter.
Learn about the academic, mental health and nutritional benefits of family meals. Dr. Fishel discusses mealtime challenges and great strategies to overcome obstacles. She motivates and empowers caring adults with games to play at the table that will spark conversation as well as tips to get kids to give you more than just a one-word answer.