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Make Your Family Meal Time Matter


In an age where families are often starved for time, sharing regular family meals gives everyone a fun and enriching opportunity to disconnect from the world and all its pressures and reconnect with one another. And if the notion conjures images of uncomfortably formal dining rooms, awkward family gatherings, or stilted conversation, think again! Whether your family’s style is more formal or relaxed, you favor early meals or late, or you prefer traditional or creative fare, eating together satisfies our human need for nourishment—of body, mind, spirit, and community.

In fact, two decades of research that investigates the positive impact family mealtime has on each family member’s overall health and wellness has found that family meals have been linked to fostering a sense of unity and belonging within the family

  • strengthening family bonds
  • building confidence, self-esteem, and resilience
  • encouraging healthy food choices and attitudes about food
  • lowering the likelihood of high-risk behaviors
  • improving academic performance
  • supporting physical, mental, and emotional health

Conversations starters from The Family Dinner Project are a great way to dig in. Or create a “Be Present” basket, like the one 2019 GOTY Blaire Wilson and her dad create to stash all the family’s devices during mealtime. And dinner games, like American Girl favorite This or That, also offer a fun way to get everyone around your table talking, laughing, and making meaningful connections to last a lifetime.

So gather your family 'round—you’ll be so glad you did.

©2019 American Girl. All American Girl marks are trademarks of American Girl.

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