HARRISBURG, Pa. — There is a convincing consensus among consumers when it comes to defining a “quality meal” – 75 percent say taste and flavor are key, 55 percent are looking for well-balanced and healthy options, and 41 percent feel quality means time spent at the table with family and friends, according to a Quality Meal Survey* conducted the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA).
The mealtime dynamic was further revealed in the survey as 91 percent of respondents report they regularly eat dinner at home. However 60 percent conceded they are only spending 10 minutes or less enjoying food at the table together.
- Follow NFRA’s Easy Home Meals blog http://blog.easyhomemeals.com/ for recipes, tips and valuable information on how frozen and refrigerated foods can play a key role in minimizing time in the kitchen, maximizing time spent with the family, and helping in the preparation and delivery of quality meals to the table.
The importance of family dinnertime has been well documented – from boosting vocabulary and elevating academic scores, to eating healthier and reducing obesity. According to the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (NFRA partner organization), “Children who participate in family mealtime** can be 12 percent less likely to be overweight and more likely to eat healthy foods, succeed academically, and have improved mental health.”
Author and notable chef Katie Workman, on behalf of NFRA, offers these tips for carving out much-needed family time during meals:
- Think of the freezer and refrigerator as an extension of your pantry – and have them stocked full for assembling quick and easy (and last minute) weeknight meals.
- Freezer and refrigerated staples like frozen shrimp, chicken, peas, broccoli, corn and puff pastry; and dairy staples like milk, cheeses, eggs and butter –all provide great base items to pair and make a meal in no time.
- Spend extra family time together in the kitchen by involving kids in the meal preparation. The added bonus – they will be more likely to eat the food they make!
Enjoy Katie’s specially created Vegetarian Sloppy Joes recipe that showcases the virtues of tasty, easy and healthy family meal assembly, when utilizing delicious products from the cool aisles of your grocery store.
* 2014 NFRA Quality Meals Consumer Survey
**Cook, Eliza and Rachel Dunifon. (2012). “Do Family Meals Really Make a Difference?” Parenting in Context.Cornell University College of Human Ecology: Department of Policy Analysis and Management. Web. 17 April, 2014. – PRNewswire