Sharing Delicious, Nutritious Meals Together Helps Families Stay Strong by Powerful + Pairings

Sharing Delicious, Nutritious Meals Together Helps Families Stay Strong COVID-19 thrust the world into uncharted territory. Quarantining, social distancing, and limited human interaction left many feeling lonely, isolated, and unfulfilled. As we continue making strides to return to “normal”, there are steps we can take to support each other through this transitional period.

Continuing to eat more family meals is a great place to start! The National Pork Board, USA Pulses, and the United Sorghum Checkoff Program have teamed up to provide tips and resources to make family meals more nutritious, delicious, and achievable during National Family Meals Month and beyond. 

Family Meals Strengthen Individuals and Improve Solidarity

The Food Marketing Institute Foundation recently published results from a study entitled, Staying-Strong-with-Family-Meals Barometer. The findings reveal most Americans plan to continue having family meals to stay connected to their loved ones, building on habits bolstered during the height of the pandemic1

Research also shows that people who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories2. Cooking together as a family can create life-long memories and novel family recipes that pass through the generations. This interaction adds to the overall experience and helps prepare us to thrive in any social situation3.


Eating meals together improves family functioning4, which is defined as family connectedness, communication, expressiveness, and problem-solving, helping us prepare for uncertainty, manage difficult life moments, and celebrate simple joys together. Regular family meals are also linked to higher grades3, better self-esteem3, stronger emotional health3, reduced incidence of obesity5, and greater intake of fruits and vegetables6.

Powerful Pairings Pack a Punch

The unique combination of pork, pulses, and sorghum packs a strong nutrition punch. Combined, the nutrients in these delicious foods help with feeling full, weight management, bone health, muscle development, energy maintenance, and more7.   

 
Recipes, Tips and Resources Available 

Visit powerfulpairings.com for recipes and resources.  

References
1. FMI, The Food Industry Association (2021). Staying-Strong-with-Family-Meals Barometer.

2. Julia A Wolfson, Sara N Bleich. Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention? Public Health Nutrition, 2014; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S1368980014001943

3. Skeer MR, Ballard EL. Are family meals as good for youth as we think they are? A review of the literature on family meals as they pertain to adolescent risk prevention. J Youth Adolesc. 2013;42(7):943–963.

4. Robson, Shannon M., McCullough, Mary Beth, Rex, Samantha, Munafo, Marcus R., Taylor, Gemma. Family Meal Frequency, Diet, and Family Functioning: A systematic Review with Meta-Analyses, January 23, 2020 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2019.12.012

5. Hammons, Amber J., Fiese, Barbarah H., Is Frequency of Shared Family Meals Related to the Nutritional Health of Children and Adolescents? 2011 Jun; 127(6): e1565–e1574.

6. Caldwell, A.R., Terhorst, L., Skidmore, E. R., Bendixen, R. M. Is frequency of family meals associated with fruit and vegetable intake among preschoolers? A logistic regression analysis; 2018 Aug;31(4):505–512.  

7. https://www.usapulses.org/nutrition-professionals/pulses-rdn-toolkit/2-pulses-macronutrient-micronutrient-analysis

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