Families and friends who eat meals together on a regular basis enjoy a multitude of benefits that may improve their lives.1 Time together at the table helps individuals connect on a personal level, bringing loved ones closer. Sharing and preparing meals at home encourages better nutrition—and can save money when you plan ahead and shop wisely.
The value of sharing meals
Dining at the table over conversation may help children build confidence, expand vocabulary, and learn to appreciate a variety of foods.2 Sharing meals at home allows you to teach your children what a balanced meal looks like: Vegetables and fruits should cover half your plate, lean protein a quarter, and grains (preferably whole grains) should make up the balance.3
Cooking at home also allows you to personalize your eating plan and maintain more control over what you and your family eat. You may want to reduce added sugars and added sodium, or need to address food allergies. Our Aprons chefs and corporate dietitians have developed an array of recipes that fit various dietary needs, including Better Choice, Heart Smart, and Carb Smart recipes. And then, in the store, our shelf tags help make it easy to find the foods that are right for you.
Get the kids in the kitchen.
Enrich your meal-sharing experiences by bringing children of all ages into the kitchen to assist. This will not only help them appreciate the meal, but it will teach them culinary skills and how to build a balanced plate.4
- Involve them in planning and preparing. Let each child choose recipes and assist with a menu representing all the food groups.
- If you have younger children, give them small jobs such as washing fruits or vegetables. Show them how to measure tablespoons and cups of recipe ingredients.
- Enlist teens to shop and work toward preparing entire meals themselves. These will be great life skills to develop as they move toward adulthood.
1Zeratsky, Katherine, RD, LD. “Enrich Your Life by Sharing Meals with Family, Friends.”
September 12, 2014.
2Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Family Dinners in a Flash.” EatRight.org. January 21, 2014.
3United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). “MyPlate, MyWins for Families.” ChooseMyPlate.gov.
May 3, 2017.
4Ansel, Karen, MS, RDN, CDN. “Family Meals: Small Investment, Big Payoff.” EatRight.org. January 21, 2014.
Interested in Health & Wellness?
Sign up for a Publix.com account—or log in if you already have one—and opt in to Health & Wellness Communications from our list for timely emails about health and wellness topics.