September is National Family Meals Month. Here’s how to make it happen!

September is National Family Meals Month designed to support families to enjoy more quality time together over home cooked meals and, as a result, reap many health and social benefits. Our guest today is Aubriana Martindale, Smith's Corporate Affairs Manager.

1. What is the aim of National Family Meals Month?

The aim is simple: families should pledge to have one more meal together, at home, per week. More than 8 in 10 parents say it is important to eat at home together as a family and enjoy wholesome meals together. As the holidays quickly, approach we all know meals have the power to bring loved ones together!

2. What are the positive outcomes of families eating together?

Studies show that family meals nourish the spirit, brain and health of all family members.
• Regular family meals are linked to higher grades and self-esteem.
• Children who grow up sharing family meals are more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior as adults, such as sharing, fairness and respect.
• With each additional family meal shared each week, adolescents are less likely to show symptoms of violence, depression and suicide, less likely to use or abuse drugs or run away, and less likely to engage in risky behavior or delinquent acts.
• Adults and children who eat at home more regularly are less likely to suffer from obesity.
• Increased family meals are associated with greater intake of fruits and vegetables.

3. What are the top 5 meal planning secrets to help families in meal planning?

We know one reason families do not share meals together is simply due to hectic schedules, but we want to make cooking meals easier even when time may seem limited! Our 5 simple tips are:

1 PLAN AHEAD AND KEEP IT SIMPLE
◦ When you have time, prepare staples (think rice, quinoa) and refrigerate or freeze to throw into soups/casseroles/side dishes later in the week.
2 MIX AND MATCH
◦ Pick a couple of foods for the week and see how many different ways you can use them until they are gone (e.g., rotisserie chicken becomes chicken tetrazzini; steam broccoli as a side dish and puree the rest for a soup).
3 KNOW THAT CONVENIENCE CAN BE A GOOD THING
◦ Your local Smith`s store has meal-planning solutions for every night of the week - even when you don`t feel like cooking and have frozen and canned fruits and vegetables on hand for quick use
4 INVITE YOUR LITTLEST GUESTS TO BE YOUR SOUS CHEFS
◦ Involve your children in food shopping, meal planning, and meal preparation whenever possible.
5 START SIMPLE
◦ Plan your family`s plates by making sure you are getting all the food groups over the course of the day.

4. Where can our viewers learn more?

Smith's makes is easy to do all of your shopping online, pick up curbside or even have your grocery order delivered right to you home. We also provide fresh new recipes on our website, www.smithsfoodanddrug.com, if you need a little inspiration.

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