Family mealtimes are a chance for parents to act as role models, encourage healthy eating habits, and begin family traditions. Other good things happen during mealtimes, like teaching children how to have a conversation; reassuring them of family unity, safety, and security; and increasing literacy and language skills.
Learn more about the importance of eating as a family with the resources below.
The Importance of Family Mealtimes — Learn the benefits of serving family meals and find resources for getting started.
Making Family Mealtime a Tradition Online Course — Short, free online course about the benefits of eating meals together as a family. Are you in the MFIP/TANF program? This course counts as one hour of Core TANF activity for Life Skills Training.
Keep Family Mealtimes (202 KB PDF) — Summary of the multiple benefits that come with eating as a family, and tips for making family meals successful.
Teens and Family Meals (240 K PDF) — Teen Talk Fact Sheet reviews benefits of family meals and tips for success.
Family Mealtime Audio Clip — Mary Caskey, University of Minnesota Extension Educator
Other Recommended Resources
Cooking with Kids — United States Department of Agriculture — Teach children of all ages about healthy eating by inviting them into the kitchen.
Enjoying the Family Meal — United States Department of Agriculture — A guide to making family mealtimes a regular, pleasant part of your family’s routine.
Kids Eat Right — Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — Scientifically-based health and nutrition information and recipes to help children grow, delivered in a consumer-friendly way.
Family Day — The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University — Get information and get tools to celebrate "Family Day," a national initiative to promote eating dinner with your children.
Kids a Cookin’ — Kansas State University —This bilingual site hosts online kids recipes that parents and kids can make together.
Kickin Kitchen TV — KidsCOOK Productions — Bringing kids and cooking together with original programming for TV and the web.
Healthy Eating: Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers — Help your little one explore food safely and get adequate nutrition.
Healthy Eating: Kids and Teens — Excel at school and keep up with your friends by fueling up with smart choices.
The Recipe Box — Quick, simple recipes using easy-to-find ingredients that work in even the tightest budget.