The benefits of eating meals at home as a family are well-documented. For example, a research study from Belgium found that sharing meals during childhood fosters positive behaviors in adulthood like sharing, fairness and respect. Another article in Public Health Nutrition highlighted a study showing kids who eat meals with their family three or more times a week are more likely to be a healthy weight and have better eating habits. Home cooking is associated with better quality diets as well. It's been shown that people who cook at home consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar and less fat than those who cook less or not at all.
These facts helped lead to National Family Meals Month, which was launched this year by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI). Its purpose is to raise awareness of the benefits of frequent family meals.
The FMI website states: "Food retailers are uniquely positioned to make family meals at home easier to accomplish. As the association of food retailers, it is the mission of the Food Marketing Institute and its Foundation to highlight the role of grocers and to bring our industry together around a family meal movement encouraging one more meal at home per week."
Hormel Foods is one of many companies that has joined the effort. It features crowd-pleasing recipe ideas on its web site and encourages visitors to make meal preparation a family affair because "Kids will be more likely to consume a meal if they helped prepare it."
Simply share a meal with your family and snap a photo along the way, whether it's when the kids are helping prepare it, your spouse is setting the table, or everyone is enjoying dessert.
Go to Hormel's contest page for more information.