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About Nutrition Notes

Michelle Albee Matto Nutrition Notes Blog offers insight, news and analysis on nutrition, as well as food labeling. The blog is written by Michelle Albee Matto, who worked in IDFA's regulatory department for eight years, most recently as assistant director for nutrition and labeling.

Michelle now works exclusively for IDFA as a nutrition and labeling consultant. Contact her at

Michelle is a registered dietician and holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition from Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Society for Nutrition Education.

Nutrition Notes

September is National Family Meals Month

Sep 20, 2017

Most families are settling into routines that a new school year brings. Fall also brings a return to activities and work schedules that can make it difficult to get everyone to sit down to dinner together. Currently, families only prepare and eat half of their dinners at home together, but parents want to eat more meals as a family.

Americans feel that meals made and eaten at home are healthier, more enjoyable and thriftier. Research shows that family meals have both health and social benefits, and work to build strong family ties. So, with the new school year schedule, it’s a great time for families to add more family meal time.

To support more family meals each week, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has designated September “Family Meals Month.” The goal of this initiative is to encourage families to prepare and eat one more meal at home each week.

Consumers identified steps that grocery stores could take to help families cook and eat at home together. Dairy processors can also help their customers prepare and eat nutritious meals with their family. Add recipes to your website—especially those that parents and children can cook together. Work with your retailers to implement some of the recommendations in the FMI report, such as displaying meal components together in the store.

The best possible way to celebrate National Family Meals Month however, is by sitting down to dinner with your friends and family. Bon appétit!

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