Promoting Family Meals Links

Research and Reports about Family Meals

  • The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University http://www.casacolumbia.org National survey data of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse. Family Day resources at http://www.casafamilyday.org
  • “The Diets of America’s Children: Influence of Dining Out, Household Characteristics, and Nutrition Knowledge” Economic Research Service, USDA, accessible at http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/933277/aer746a.pdf Includes chapter on meal and snack eating patterns of American children.
  • Better Together British Columbia http://bettertogetherbc.ca/
  • Research on the Family Meal Model is used to describe the psychological tensions driving family meal behavior. This website features tools and resources for health professionals, educators, and community agencies to support families to eat together.
  • Go the References Page for extensive list of research studies and reports about family meals.

Teaching Resources about Family Meals

  • Family Mealtime Presentations for professional audiences: http://www.beefnutrition.org. Contact the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Nutrition Seminar Program and click on events and seminars. “Who’s Home for Dinner?” is a topic selection.
  • “Eat Better, Eat Together” resources are available for promoting family meals from the Washington State Dairy Council: www.eatsmart.org or from Washington State University at http://nutrition.wsu.edu/ebet/.
  • Family Meals Modules and resources for WIC programs, available in English and Spanish. Available at: http://depts.washington.edu/vitalwic/family.htm. Has downloadable posters, handouts, bookmarks and other resources for families.
  • Touching Hearts, Touching Minds is a web site from the Massachusetts WIC Program www.touchingheartstouchingminds.com with innovative nutrition education strategies and resources. Go to the materials section and within Healthy Eating are resources about family meals titled “Set the table.” This site also has excellent ideas for counseling. A training video shows how to use the materials in group sessions.
  • “Family Meals Nourish Body and Soul” by Alice Henneman, MS,RD, in Food Reflections, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, Oct/Nov 2000. Resources available at: http://www.extension.org/families_food_fitness
  • “Family Meals – Fast, Healthful” is part of the “Nibbles for Health” series of newsletters for parents of young children, available here.
  • “Making Meals Matter” is a nutrition guide for busy parents. Dairy Council of California, 2004. Available from http://www.mealsmatter.org/ in publications for young children and school-age children.
  • “Mealtime: Keep It Simple . . . Keep It Fun . . . Just Keep It!” Oregon Dairy
    Council, 2000. http://www.oregondairycouncil.org Describes importance of eating together, suggests steps to make happen. Other resources available for ideas of quick meals. Spanish and English.
  • The Canned Food Alliance web site features “family and kids” resources, including the “ABC’s of a Fun Dinnertime” at http://www.mealtime.org/
  • “NuNews” a nutrition newsletter is available from the Schwan Food Company at http://www.menusolutions.com/NuNews/5/parent.asp
  • Say “YES” to Family Meals: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/publications/pm1842.pdf

Community Promotion Ideas

  • CASA Family Day sponsored by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University http://www.casacolumbia.org Family Day resources at http://www.casafamilyday.org
  • “Ready, Set, Relax!” http://www.readysetrelax.org is a community initiative designed to raise awareness about the impact of over-scheduling on families and children. The program originated in Ridgewood, NJ in 2002. Kits for organizing a community event are available at the web site.

Family Meal Planning and Recipe Ideas

Recipe Web Sites are numerous on the internet. Here are a few to try:

Conversation Starters

  • “Cookin’ Up Conversation” ideas for mealtime solutions and conversation starters, and a tabletime traditions placemat are available at: http://otherwhitemeat.com/
  • Conversation Cards and Family Meals Modules for families and WIC programs. Available at: http://depts.washington.edu/vitalwic/family.htm.
  • Screen-Free Tips and Conversation Starters available at www.eatrightmontana.org/eatrighthealthyfamilies.htm. The April 2007 Media Campaign promoted “Smart Family Moves: Less TV, More Meals Together and has these resources available online.
  • FRIDGE Curriculum available here Food-Related Intergenerational Discussion Group Experiences: A curriculum to help families communicate better, learn more about food and nutrition, and work as partners to achieve their healthy eating goals.

Ideas for Positive Mealtime Behavior

  • Ellyn Satter has numerous ideas for promoting a healthy feeding relationship. Her “Division of Responsibility” in Feeding is the best strategy to avoid mealtime conflicts and promote children becoming competent eaters. Materials can be downloaded at www.ellynsatter.com.