Putting a Family Capacity Building Movement in Motion- Let’s Take the Family Meals Challenge!

A simple nudge is all it takes to unlock a powerful catalyst for suc­cess: the power of families to become an unstoppable force for school success and family wellness.

The Family Meals Challenge is that simple nudge. Thousands of families have already taken the Challenge, resulting in improvement in early learning, school performance, and health outcomes. The Challenge workshops are easy to roll out, and before you know it your families will be rapidly moving forward.

Are you ready to set things in motion with the Challenge?

What is the Family Meals Challenge?

The Family Meals Challenge is a simple step toward boosting family wellness and student success by increasing the number and quality of shared family meals.

The Family Meals Challenge is a three workshop series held on campus or online. The workshops rapidly strengthen a vital family habit – bringing the family together more often to increase quality connections between parents and their children.  

Surveys show that the number of families sharing five or more weekly family meals more than doubles during the Challenge!  The average family adds more than 100 shared family meals a year.

Two formats:

On Campus or Online

The Family Meals Challenge workshops are delivered in two formats, giving your families two bilingual options:

  • On campus weekly workshops led by your Parenting Partners Facilitators for three weeks.
  • Online workshops that families can do on their smartphone or computer at their own convenience.
family-cooking-together

Why take the Family Meals Challenge?

Harvard and Columbia University researchers looked for powerful strategies to boost school success and came to the same conclusion: adding more family meals is a proven strategy that increases literacy and academic performance!

The Family Meals Challenge has demonstrated that producing rapid development in school success and student wellness is done by targeting one simple, manageable family practice: increasing the frequency and quality of shared family meals.

The Family Meals Challenge provides families with tools and strategies they can readily implement at home. The content empowers parents to push over the first domino prompting rapid learning and wellness improvement.

The Family Meals Challenge is for parents who want more!

During Parenting Partners graduations we hear, “I want to keep going with more workshops.” In response, we developed the Family Meals Challenge to strengthen one family habit —bringing the family together more often to increase quality connections between parents and their children.

The Family Meals Challenge is for educators who want to develop additional family engagement programs on their campuses to further equip parents in their community.

Not only does the Family Meals Challenge offer another opportunity for Parenting Partners graduates, but it also gives you an exciting option to reach more parents.

You can also offer the online version for parents on the go. They can jump in and go through the content on their smartphone at their own pace.

What are the benefits of the Family Meals Challenge?

Family Meals brings parents on board to contribute to the key priorities of your schools:

  • Language development, early learning, and literacy promotion
  • Substance abuse prevention
  • Managing technology and social media influences
  • Health and wellness strategies

The Family Meals Challenge implements the dynamic research about family practices that produces an academic boost to your students.

Family Meals Challenge produces rapid improvement in family and student outcomes through a highly targeted strategy to change one simple, manageable family practice—increasing the quality and number of shared family meals.

The Family Meals Challenge is the domino that promptly impacts language development, early learning, literacy promotion, substance abuse prevention, managing technology, and family well-being.

The Family Meals Challenge workshops are delivered in two formats, giving your families two options:

  • In person weekly workshops for three weeks, led by parents or staff.
  • Online workshops that families can do on their smartphone or computer at their own convenience. The online workshops are currently being beta tested in select schools and health partners.

In the workshops parents challenge one another to improve the content and number of weekly family meals.  Our goal is to bring as many families to the 5 meals a week goal as possible.

  • Our surveys show that the number of families reaching the 5 meals a week goal more than doubles after the three week workshops.
  • Before the workshops nearly half the families were at 1 to 2 meals a week. After the workshops 98% reached 3 or more meals a week.

What is Included in the Workshops?

Family Meals Challenge Workshops equip families with practical resources!

Family Talk Time Tools

Parents receive practical tools for encouraging family conversations, including placemats, games, and posters with conversation builders in English and Spanish.

Prevention and Wellness Strategies

Parents receive strategies for Addiction Prevention, stress management and building the wellness of their teens and children.

Planning Charts

Families receive charts for tracking their shared meals, menu planning, screentime, and more.

Tools for Managing Screentime

Parents develop skills for managing technology and screentime, including a customized “Family Media Plan.”

Family Nutrition Tools

Families access interactive online resources for building custom nutrition plans for each child or teen.

Support resources after the workshops

Parents can receive our series of follow up supportive Texts and Email messages. This “Keep it Going” series are available in Spanish or English.

Literacy Strategies

Families practice strategies for building the “30 Million Words Learning Advantage.”

Family Meals Challenge Workbook

All families receive their own Family Meals Challenge Workbook, whether taking the workshops on campus or online.

Online Workshop Access

Families receive continued online access to our inspirational videos, charts, and all materials in the workshops.

All Materials are in English and Spanish

All materials are in English and Spanish for both parents and presenters. Bilingual materials include parent handouts, take-home games, videos, Facilitator Manuals, presenters’ PowerPoints, and the online workshops.
FMC Graphic-3

The Family Meals Challenge outcomes bring home
the key elements of academic improvement!

The Family Meals Challenge is an efficient, rapid step toward multiplying outcomes!

Language Development

More talk time accelerates language development at every age: ECE, Elementary, Middle and High School. Research shows family is the most effective setting for language development.
See Research Survey Chart

Academic Performance

Teens and kids with five or more weekly family meals are 40% more likely to get mainly A’s and B’s than kids who have two or fewer meals together weekly.
See Research Survey Chart

Managing Technology

Parents take an effective role in managing technology and social media habits through tools such as the “Family Media Plan.”
See Research Survey Chart

Better Wellness Choices

Families upgrade the nutritional quality of their meals, discover a healthy eating style, and increase sleep times.
See Research Survey Chart

Closer Family Connections

Elementary students and teens enjoy closer connections with their families, increasing each of these vital outcomes: improved school performance, stress management, and substance abuse resistance.
See Research Survey Chart

Social-Emotional Development

Families effectively build effective skills in stress management, positive family communication, and nurturing the emotional development of their children and teens.
Dad-and-Son-cooking

Why add this resource to your schools?

Here’s a manageable way to bring home the key elements of academic improvement!

Your staff is working hard on key academic improvement areas: early literacy, school achievement, managing technology, addiction prevention, and more.

But how do you bring it home?

For example, your health educators can teach students about the healthy eating styles, but the students don’t plan the dinner menu.  Your teachers can make reading assignments, but they can’t create a suitable learning environment in the home.

So let’s bring the tools for success directly to the parents!  The Family Meals Challenge is a manageable way to bring home key foundations for academic improvement.

Just contact your Parenting Partners Director, and we’ll help get the Family Meals Challenge launched at your school.

How to Get StartedJust contact your Parenting Partners Director, and we’ll help get the Family Meals Challenge launched at your school.