Family Meals at Home Have Benefits
Last year, we challenged North Americans to “Get Up and Grow” and eat more fruit and vegetables to promote health and happiness. In 2016 we’re taking it one step further and encouraging everyone to “Get Up and Grow! Together”—because isn’t everything more fun with family and friends?
According to the 2015 State of the Plate by Produce for Better Health Foundation, the average American eats fresh fruit just 150 times and vegetables 183 times over the course of an entire year. That's not even every other day! For kids under ten, fruit is on the menu just 111 times a year, and vegetables a mere 75 times.
No one has more control of what goes on your plate than you—the easiest way to eat more fruits and vegetables is to get in the kitchen and make your own meals! Cooking at home can have tremendous benefits to health. Harvard research finds people who eat 11 to 14 homemade lunches or dinners a week have a 13% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to people who ate less than six homemade meals a week. Eating at home can save you from weight gain too. A study from Tufts found the average restaurant meal packed over 1,200 calories—almost a day’s worth of calories for some!
It’s not just the food on your plate that matters—an even greater benefit comes from eating together. We’ve previously discussed the health advantages of family meals, such as lower BMI and lower risk of depression. Eating a family meal at the table, without phones or TV, can inspire meaningful conversations, impart valuable life lessons and positively impact all aspects of health.
Get Up and Grow! Together is all about healthy living as a group, because making (and keeping up with) major lifestyle changes becomes easier when you have support from others. Add more fruits and vegetables to your day by trying out our newest recipes—packed with produce and meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. For a flavorful side dish everyone will love, try our Spicy Caramelized Cauliflower & Broccoli, the perfect accompaniment to grilled salmon or chicken.
Published June 1, 2016