Written By: Maya Lewis | Marketing Intern

For many, family meals are reserved for special occasions such as holidays or reunions. As everyone balances their daily schedules, it can sometimes be difficult to plan consistent meals with your family. However, setting aside time to spend with your family and share a meal together may be more important than one may think and worth adjusting a schedule for. 

According to research, family meals improve physical health by promoting better dietary habits and food choices. When eating as a family, family members are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and make better food choices. It directly promotes the health and wellness of a family and has the power to fight health issues such as obesity and malnutrition. That being said, the positive impact of Family Meals extends beyond the physical benefits. Sharing a meal with your family is an experience and moment to make memories and create safe spaces. Family meals offer the opportunity for family members to emotionally invest in one another through fellowship, trust, and rapport!

During meals, take the time to converse and check in with your family members. The mental and emotional impact of deepening family bonds can change lives. In addition to healthier food choices, it is shown that healthier life choices are made when families spend time together during meals. Research conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University concludes that frequent Family Meals increases the chances of parents raising drug-free, healthy kids and also can decrease household stress. Family time spent during meals allows parents to build stronger relationships with their children so that they can understand their child’s day to day life and keep them on a healthy life-track. Family bonds create support systems that can maximize the success and wellbeing of all family members. 

This is why foundations like the FMI Foundation are so invested in promoting the frequent family meals through their Family Meals Movement and encouraging food retailers to make at-home-cooked meals easier to accomplish. As said by David Fikes, FMI Foundation Executive Director,

Family meals have a proven track record of providing physical, mental, social, economic, and nutritional benefits to those who dine together with loved ones. This is borne out by numerous scientific studies, but it is also an intuitive truth affirmed by our own experience. In a world where we look for win-win situations, family meals are the trifecta, they are a win-win-win for everyone involved.”

A family meal is not only an investment in your loved ones. It’s an investment in your community and the future of your family. To invest in families and communities, Common Threads has partnered up with the FMI Foundation’s campaign to raise awareness of the importance of eating at home as a family. This September is Family Meals Month. To support  The FMI Foundation’s mission, Common Threads is sharing recipes and videos featuring culturally diverse and delicious family meals for you to try the entire month.  

Check out these easy dinner recipes and suggested grocery lists that you and your family can use this Family Meals Month!