Overcome challenges and commit to more meals at home with family each week. #familymealsmonth
Sitting down for a meal with my family is one of the best parts of my day. I love listening to my twins discuss the highlights from their day or my son reliving the best wave he caught on a recent trip to the beach. With school starting up again, this nightly ritual tends to be rushed. We must try harder to make it happen and we are not alone. The way families eat together and live together has changed over time, presenting new challenges to sitting at the table together. This month, we celebrate National Family Meals Month™ with tips on how families can sit down for one more meal together each week.
I reached out to our internal family meal experts, the Consumer Test Kitchens, for insights on how family meals changed and what we can do to make them happen more often. Whether you are personally trying to eat more meals with your family, or you are trying to encourage others, these insights and solutions help everyone eat more meals at home.Families Shop Differently Than BeforeThe days of stocking up once per week at the local grocery store are over for many families. Now, families shop in a variety of places. They buy in bulk at club stores, shop online, browse dollar stores, and more. The traditional supermarket is still a mainstay, but consumers today diversify where they stock up.Helpful Hints:
Tight on TimeWe all seek shortcuts when juggling our schedules and meals are no exception. Sixty-three percent of Americans decide what to eat less than an hour before eating.1 When talking to the Campbell Test Kitchen team, I learned most families with kids spend less than 45 minutes preparing and eating their meals.
Addicted to TechTechnology can be addicting and distracting. A Food Marketing Institute survey from 2017 found 21% of families with kids reported too many distractions as an obstacle to eating family dinners together.2 However, the biggest offenders are not who you might expect. According to a Nielsen Survey, Baby Boomers (52%) and Silent Generation (42%) respondents report using technology at meal times, followed by Millennials (40%) and Generation Z (38%).3
The best tip of all?Start small, try to eat ONE more meal together each week—whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner, take the time to eat together. The meal may only be 15 minutes but the memories last forever.
Make dinner, make memories!
Kate received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware and completed her dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She has over ten years of experience in a variety of nutrition-related practice areas including clinical nutrition, weight management counseling, health and wellness and nutrition education. Kate has worked as a nutrition consultant to the Campbell Soup Company since 2005.
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