A new study released recently by Welch’s shows that families are stronger than ever—making time to eat together, talking to one another each day, and spending quality time together. Welch’s Kitchen Table Report found that 71 percent of respondents say their families eat dinner together as often as or more today than their families did when they were children. Nearly 90 percent of parents say they talk to their children every day about what they think and how they feel.
Family mealtime is an extremely important part of family life, with 84 percent of respondents saying that one of their favorite parts of the day is when their family eats together. These meals are taking place at the kitchen table, with 68 percent of respondents reporting they eat most meals or snacks together as a family at the table.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, most families currently eat dinner together most nights of the week. For example, 75 percent say that, in an average week, they eat together four or more nights. Even more impressive, 34 percent report they eat together seven nights a week, on average. Not only are families spending time together, but they are making it a priority. Nearly 60 percent of respondents indicate they would rather spend time with their family or a spouse than receive a $5,000 pay raise, lose ten pounds, go on a Caribbean cruise, or get more sleep.
Family mealtime is serving as the hub of family life, with the kitchen table acting as mission control.
Seventy-five percent of families eat most meals and snacks in the kitchen.
The next most common location is the couch, far behind with only 18 percent.
A mere 3 percent of families say they eat in the car on the go.
Only 3 percent of families say they eat in a restaurant or fast food chain.
The kitchen table is centered around food, but it is also central to family life. Over 70 percent of American families use the kitchen table as a place for catching up as a family, playing games, and doing homework or arts and crafts. Most respondents (nearly 80 percent) say they use their kitchen table for at least eight separate family activities, with 94 percent enjoying a family dinner at the table.
Despite all this good news, the modern American family still faces challenges that impact family mealtime such as lack of time and financial concerns. Four-in-ten survey respondents cite the lack of time to cook meals, especially healthy meals, as a top barrier to family mealtimes, and the same number cite busy schedules as another reason it is difficult to eat meals as a family.
“The good news is that there are easy solutions to combat the common obstacles facing families at mealtime,” shares Casey Lewis, a registered dietitian and Welch’s Health and Nutrition Lead. “Welch’s believes in the magic of family moments and has been helping families enjoy them for generations. To continue that mission, experts on the Welch’s Health and Nutrition Advisory Panel have created an online toolkit to help families enjoy more happy and healthy mealtimes together.” Welch’s new toolkit will include family-friendly meal plans, tips on how to help create more family mealtime moments, heart-healthy recipes featuring Welch’s 100% Grape Juice made with Concord grapes, and meal makeovers. To learn more about the toolkit and Welch’s survey findings, click here.
The survey results are based on 864 telephone interviews among parents or guardians of children under 18 who were identified from a national probability sample of 4,049 adults. Interviews were conducted in October and November 2012 on behalf of Welch’s® using ORC International’s CARAVAN® survey.
Headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts, Welch’s is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative, which is owned by more than 1,000 family farmers across America and in Ontario, Canada who grow the Concord grapes used in Welch’s juices and other grape-based products.