In honor of National Family Meals Month, the Food Marketing Institute is partnering with celebrity chef Robert Irvine on an initiative to get families to sit down together for meals more often.
Irvine is the latest luminary to join approximately 230 partners – food retailers, suppliers, collaborators, media and celebrities – who are supporting consumers in making family meals a reality and, in turn, helping them reap the physical, social and psychological benefits of doing so.
Recognized for his tough-love tactics on top Food Network shows Restaurant: Impossible, Dinner: Impossible and Worst Cooks in America, Irvine has become a significant advocate for promoting the importance of family meals. This year, he published a new book called Family Table By Robert Irvine, in which he shares insight about how to create strong family bonds by coming together in the kitchen and at the table based on his personal family experiences.
“The family meals movement is a cause that is near and dear to my heart,” Irvine says. “Now more than ever, distractions are all around us – we’re drowning in technology and inundated with voices other than our own and those closest to us. This movement is an urgent call for families to refocus on what’s most important, which is family. And in my experience, a strong family connection starts in the kitchen.”
Regular family meals are linked to the kinds of outcomes that we all want for our children, according to FMI: higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits and less risky behavior.
“We are quite proud to be adding Chef Irvine as an ambassador of the social, emotional, mental and nutritional value of the family meal,” says Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI. “This cause is an authentic one for him and a natural extension of his entire portfolio of work. We welcome the creativity and muscle mass his celebrity power brings to this movement that encourages one more meal together each week using items from the grocery store.”