September is National Family Meals Month, and in the latest episode of our Taste of Harmons Podcast, Harmons Chef Debbie Iverson and Harmons Dietitian Heather Lieber join hosts Brandon Young and Chef Lesli Sommerdorf for a lively discussion about family meals, how to make them happen, and involving children in the cooking process.
The aim of National Family Meals Month is simple and very doable, only asking families to pledge to have one more meal together, at home, per week.
With the current pandemic still disrupting what we think of as normal life, families are home and together a lot more, and so this is the perfect time to take on this pledge and reap the many health and social benefits of doing so.
According to the FMI Foundation, regular family meals are linked to higher grades and self-esteem and delayed sexual activity.
In addition, children who grow up sharing family meals are more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior as adults, such as sharing, fairness, and respect.
With each additional family meal shared each week, adolescents are less likely to show symptoms of violence, depression, and suicide; less likely to use or abuse drugs or run away; and less likely to engage in risky behavior or delinquent acts.
And adults and children who eat at home more regularly are less likely to suffer from obesity.
So how do you make family meals go smoothly? Our podcast hosts and guests have a lot of great suggestions for making that happen. Chef Debbie runs our summer Kids Camp, which unfortunately will not be held this year due to COVID-19, but in her experience kids are very excited to get involved in planning and cooking meals, and she offers some great advice on how to make it work.
From suggestions to feeding picky eaters to tips on making clean up a family endeavor, this podcast episode is a must for all parents. The guests point out that family isn’t just biological and can be extended in many ways. And all meals can count as your family meal, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There is no one way to do it right, and Harmons offers some great quick meal solutions and ideas to make it easy.
Checkout these great recipe ideas, courtesy of Harmons, and make your family meal one to remember.
Chef Debbie Iverson
Chef Debbie Iverson has been involved with Harmons cooking classes for many years. Beginning as a contestant in our cooking competitions, Debbie quickly became a fixture in our classes. She has served as an assistant, an instructor, and as a guest with our chefs both in the schools and on many cooking segments for local news stations. Debbie officially joined the Harmons Cooking School team in 2017, and now teaches classes at each location and leads the Harmons Kids Camp development team.
Dietitian Heather Lieber
Heather Lieber is a registered dietitian nutritionist who loves all things food. Her philosophy is that there is no one right way to achieve overall wellness, and no one-diet-fits-all. Her special interest in family meals comes from not only the nutritional value of meals at home, but also the social and cognitive benefits that are associated with meals gathered together as a family.
Chalk Art by James Bennion, Bangerter Crossing
At Harmons, we are lucky to have incredibly talented artists at each store, and we’re sure you’ve seen their amazing chalk art as you wander throughout every location. We’re excited to be able to feature some of their work as the featured art on our podcast blog. This week’s art is by James Bennion, of our Bangerter Crossing location.