Sitting down to a meal with family or friends can feel like a luxury when schedules are tight. But more and more we’re learning that the benefits far outweigh the risks of missing out on other activities that may be scheduled in place of family mealtime.
Researchers at Columbia University surveyed thousands of parents and teens to identify what benefits result from family mealtime when children and parents gather around the table and engage each other in conversation. Here’s what they’ve found:
- Teens who have frequent family dinners are more likely to report having high-quality relationships with their parents
- Teens who have dinner with their families at least five times per week are almost one and a half times less likely to report high levels of stress
- Teens who have frequent family dinners are more likely to say their parents know a great deal or a fair amount about what’s really going on in their lives
Knowing these facts doesn’t put dinner on the table, though. The reality of busy schedules is that there’s little time for elaborate meal planning and prepping. That’s why we tapped into some of our favorite food bloggers for Family Meals Month to create these healthy, family-friendly meals everyone will enjoy.
The only way to improve on the classic family-friendly combination of chicken and rice has to be by topping it with cheese!
Don’t let the long ingredient list fool ya! This Cheesy Taco Lasagna is simple to make and richly spiced with Tex-Mex taste.
Some family meals do require a little bit of advanced prep, but they’re totally worth. That’s certainly the case with these classic Pierogi. Make a big batch ahead and freeze them for easy weeknight meals.
If you’ve ever wondered if a sandwich could “make a meal” at your dinner table, this is the one for you! Using zucchini as the base for the homemade gluten-free bread slices, you’ll find this special sandwich to be the perfect family-friendly way to eat veggies at dinner, while still enjoying a comfort food meal.
All the favorite flavors of fall wrapped into a cheesy bread package. Who could turn down this for dinner tonight?
Homemade mac and cheese is the type of recipe that family meal memories are made of. And this one’s worth the effort!
There’s no better way to get your family to try quinoa than turning into an enchilada casserole. This one is sure to be a regular in your family meal rotation.
Using arrowroot or cornstarch to thicken this classic family-friendly soup means that everyone at your table — even those who are gluten-free — can enjoy a hearty bowl of warming comfort food.
Black Beans and Rice is always a simple, budget-friendly meal, but this variation is so much better with hearty, smoky Tex-Mex spices and the addition of Cabot’s Award Winning Cheddar.
With a quick saute in the skillet and the addition of a hearty filling, these stuffed pork chops are both easy to make and heartily satisfying.
Your family will love this one-dish combo inspired by classic Italian flavors. Bonus — the clean up is as easy as the recipe itself!
Looking for more kid/family friendly recipes? Click here!