King Kullen Celebrates National Family Meals Month

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National Family Meals Month is a nationwide event created to raise awareness of the benefits of sitting down for home-cooked meals

King Kullen is proud to celebrate National Family Meals Month this September. This nationwide, annual movement was created by the Food Marketing Institute Foundation to raise awareness of the benefits of frequent family meals. With the support of community health organizations, King Kullen and other grocers and manufacturers encourage families to share one more meal at home per week.

“The Food Marketing Institute is in a position to bring together those on the front lines – grocery retailers, food manufacturers, and community groups – as part of shared purpose to encourage and facilitate family meals. Together we can do well by doing good,” said Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute, creator of National Family Meals Month.

Research continues to demonstrate that magic happens during family mealtime when children and parents gather around the table and engage in conversation. Family meals eaten at home have been proven to benefit the health and wellness of children and adolescents, to fight obesity and substance abuse, as well as making families stronger – creating a positive impact on communities and the nation.

Many researchers and health experts endorse and promote the lifelong benefits of family meals. Numerous studies show that home-cooked meals nourish the spirit, brain and health of all family members. Family meals have a positive impact on the nutrition status, health and wellbeing of the entire family. They are associated with physical, social and mental health benefits. They’re linked with positive outcomes for children such as high grades and high self-esteem, healthier eating habits, less risky behavior and a lesser chance of drug and alcohol use at an early age.

Reducing away-from-home eating also leads to healthier children. Kids and teens who share meals with their families three or more times per week are less likely to be overweight and more likely to reach for healthy foods. Sharing family meals is essential for family bonding and is likely responsible for prosocial behavior as adults, including sharing, fairness and respect. More home-cooked meals will result in healthier eating options and help save money.

According to The Hartman Group’s 2013 study in Eating Occasions Compass, 63% of Americans decide what to eat less than an hour before eating. King Kullen offers an ever-expanding assortment of products that will take the stress out of planning and preparing family meals. Customers can find pre-prepped fresh ingredients, delicious readymade entrees, wholesome heat-and-eat dishes and more at King Kullen stores. Pre-sliced vegetables, spiralized vegetables and vegetable mixes are prepackaged for the customers’ convenience. Minimal prep time and ingredients are needed for these products. Put these easy to make dishes to use a second time by enjoying them for lunch the next day. Package in airtight containers to fit in the kids’ lunchboxes, along with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Ensure kids are receiving dairy at lunch with these tips from American Dairy NE. The best packable dairy foods for lunches are:

  • Shelf Stable Milk – a whole natural nutrient powerhouse
  • Chocolate Milk – the essential choice for active kids
  • String Cheese – a delicious protein-packed snack
  • Greek/Icelandic Yogurt – helps keep kids satisfied
  • Shredded Cheese – sprinkle on for taste
  • Yogurt Tubes – provide calcium for growing kids
  • Cabot Cracker Cuts – an easy, pre-cut addition to build a better snack

Keeping perishable products cold enough is important for food safety reasons. Here are a few tips for keeping dairy cold.

  • Purchase portable yogurts and store in freezer until they’re needed.
  • Freeze fruits like grapes, cherries, mangoes and more to help keep dairy foods chilled, then enjoy when thawed!
  • Make smoothies ahead of time, freeze in single serving containers and pack in a lunch box when desired.
  • Make sure to buy insulated lunch bags and thermoses to ensure food is kept cool from the moment it leaves the refrigerator/freezer.
  • When assembling a child’s lunch bag, make sure to place dairy foods close to frozen gel packs to ensure they’re kept fresh and cold until lunchtime.

For even more helpful information, visit American Dairy NE’s site for 5 Simple Ways to Build a Better Lunchbox!

King Kullen is committed to helping make shared meals at home fun, affordable and healthier.

About the Company:
Headquartered in Bethpage, New York, King Kullen Grocery Co., Inc. is recognized by the Smithsonian Institution as America’s first supermarket. Michael J. Cullen opened the doors of King Kullen in 1930. Today, four generations later, King Kullen is still family owned and operated. It remains a leader in the supermarket industry. From that very first store in 1930, King Kullen today operates 32 supermarkets and five Wild by Nature stores across Long Island. In addition to traditional grocery, King Kullen features a large catering and prepared foods department, freshly-baked breads and sweets, and healthy and organic areas, with pharmacies and online shopping in many stores as well.

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Tracey Cullen
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