The Nutrition Council of Oregon (NCO) has launched a year-long initiative to raise awareness about the importance of shared meals in promoting better eating habits, reducing obesity, preventing substance abuse, and strengthening family and community bonds.
Research shows that regular family meals boost consumption of dairy, fruits, vegetables, and grains, and reduce consumption of soft drinks. Youth who have regular family meals also do better in school, are more motivated and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
The governor proclaimed September 2013 as Shared Meals Month in Oregon, kicking off a year-long effort to encourage friends, families, neighbors, schools, senior meal organizers and civic organizations to celebrate shared meals by organizing shared meal events and regular gatherings, working with community members to help friends and neighbors find ways to share meals, and make shared meals a routine part of their lives.
We invite you to join the initiative and promote shared meals in your home, workplace, school, community and/or wherever you spend time with people you care about. Communication tools, educational materials, fact sheets and recipes have been created to help promote the effort.