Family Mealtimes Matter!

Guest Post from Kathleen McAllister, Cornell Cooperative Extension

It’s that time of year again.  The air is crisp, the days shorter, and thoughts turn to the warm and cozy.  It’s the perfect time to resurrect the family meal!

Whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, sharing food and conversation together is good for the body and the soul.  Research shows that eating meals with their families helps keep kids slimmer and healthier. They are less likely to snack on unhealthy foods and are more likely to eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  Shared meals may also prevent eating disorders.

But the benefits don’t stop there.  Parents and kids talking together over a meal allow them to keep connected.  Children do better in school, have fewer behavioral problems, and communication skills improve.  Mealtimes offer an opportunity for you and your family to talk about what happened during the day—at school, at work, with friends and family, or about an after-school sports game or special event.

So with all these great benefits, go ahead and clear off the mail and kid’s homework from the table, and have a meal together.

Price Chopper, Eat Smart New York!, and Cornell Cooperative Extension have teamed up this month to encourage people to take the Family Mealtimes Matter Challenge.  Spend the next 4 weeks making mealtimes better together by setting a goal to increase the number of meals you have together as a family.  Stop by select Price Chopper stores on October 20th and 22nd to speak to Cornell Cooperative Extension Nutrition Educators and Price Chopper Dietitians, pick up helpful resources, and take the Family Mealtimes Matter pledge.  Join our discussions those days on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about Cornell Cooperative Extension and Eat Smart New York!, go to  and or call your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office.  For resources outside of New York State, contact your state extension office.

Join the Family Mealtimes Matter discussion and leave a comment:  What are your best tips for successful family meals?

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