by Mia Hanneken
September is National Family Meals Month!
Established in 2015 by the Food Marketing Institute, this campaign started small with the simple mission to encourage families to share one more meal per week together. Now, five years later, its mission has spread across the nation.
Why are family meals important?
The data surrounding the importance of family meals is overwhelmingly positive! FMI found that 8 of 10 parents value and strive to have family meals regularly. Regular meals together also seriously benefit child development. It’s shown that kids are less likely to develop depression and substance use at a young age, along with an improvement in overall health.
Studies have also shown that regular meals together strongly promote connectedness and high-functioning relationships within the family.
What is Common Ground doing to celebrate Family Meals Month and help families eat together?
Common Ground is working to ensure sharing a family meal is easier than ever. Stop by the store to see our themed end cap where families can grab all the ingredients for a meal in one central location.
The first half of September will feature an end cap for “Taco Night.” Who doesn’t love tacos!? We’ll have a display full of all your taco fixings right when you walk in the door, alongside two co-op original recipes developed by our very own Education & Outreach Coordinator. These recipes will offer one vegetarian option and one option with local meat.
No time to cook? No problem! Family Meals Month isn’t about home cooked meals; it’s about eating a meal at home with your family. We have countless heat-and-eat options in our Grab n’ Go cooler, plus our full Cafe menu to choose from. You can call in an order for a whole pizza, made-from-scratch, any day of the week! May we suggest the Spinach, Basil, & Garlic pizza? Yum!
I don’t have a family; how can I celebrate Family Meals Month?
Family means a multitude of things. It goes beyond the framework of the spouse-parent-child dynamic. Friends are often considered a “chosen family” and equally important support systems. If your family is different from the traditional trope, celebrate what you have! Once a week, get together with those closest to you, either in person or virtually. Take time out of your week to connect with friends, share a meal, and catch up on life.
Neighbors are another great outlet. Consider cooking a meal for the family next door, easing the inevitable time-constraint that comes with being a working parent. Your generosity--and amazing culinary skills--can allow a busy family to celebrate Family Meals Month when they may not have the time to do the cooking themselves.
The momentum behind Family Meals Month is growing, and Common Ground is here to support all forms of families in creating positive relationships and healthy eating habits. FMI shares wonderful resources with families looking to engage in more meals together. Read more about it here!
Did you take advantage of our hassle-free Taco Night? Tell us about your experience! Email email@example.com to share how Family Meals Month positively impacted your family!