Family meals increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. Try this German fruit tart on the family table. Photo by: familyfeatures.com
June 3, 2020 10:44:46 AM
Spending moments together with loved ones carries obvious benefits like time to catch up and opportunities to bond, but sharing meals actually provides definitive value for families. With restricted social interactions due to COVID-19, many families face meal challenges that have shifted from juggling busy schedules to seeking new ways to mix up the traditional menu or using digital solutions to reconnect at a virtual table.
A study published in the "Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior" funded by the FMI Foundation shows more frequent family meals are associated with better dietary and family functioning outcomes. The results build on years of previous research studies to punctuate the creation of the Family Meals Movement, which encourages Americans to pledge to share one more family breakfast, lunch or dinner at home per week.
Consider these notable findings from the study:
"There are thousands of individual studies that examine the impact of family meals on nutrition and family behavior, but this meta-analysis looks at the relationship between family meal frequency and family functioning outcomes," said David Fikes, executive director of the FMI Foundation. "We can confirm that family meals are a valuable contributor of improved nutrition and family dynamics."
Find tips, recipes and ways to increase family meal frequency at familymealsmovement.org.
HAWAIIAN CHICKEN PIZZA
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 ready-made pizza crust or whole wheat pizza crust (10 ounces)
1 cup canned or jarred tomato sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple or canned pineapple tidbits packed in 100 percent juice
(Source: Courtesy of Toby Amidor on behalf of the FMI Foundation)
GERMAN FRUIT TART
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon half-and-half or cream
1/8 teaspoon almond extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
Sliced strawberries, kiwi, banana
2 teaspoons turbinado or powdered sugar (optional)
(Source: Courtesy of Deanna Segrave-Daly on behalf of the FMI Foundation)