September is recognized as National Family Meals Month, promoting the benefits of families eating together. While family meals have seen a decline in the past due to changing lifestyles, research underlines their importance. Eating together not only boosts mental and physical health but also strengthens family bonds. Especially amidst modern challenges, even meals sourced from kits or food delivery can facilitate these important gatherings.
- The initiative of National Family Meals Month began in 2015 to encourage more meals at home, emphasizing the advantages of joint family meals.
- A 2020 study revealed that family meals boost fruit and vegetable consumption, which is crucial given that many Americans don’t consume enough of these foods.
- Benefits of family meals extend beyond nutrition, including improved family dynamics, reduced adolescent drug use, depression symptoms, and increased resilience and self-esteem.
- Changes in work schedules, meal preparation habits, and single-generation households have led to a 33% decrease in family meals over the last 20 years.
- The evolving definition of “family” means that even friends gathering for meals can be considered a “family meal”, emphasizing the essence of togetherness over traditional definitions.