Family and Consumer Sciences classes at Burns Middle School are participating in and supporting Kentucky’s first Family and Consumer Science Day on Wednesday, Dec. 3, by encouraging families to prepare a healthy meal and eat together. The special day has been organized by the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) with a national goal of 200,000 families participating.
According to the Kentucky Department of Education, Family and Consumer Science Day is designed to “teach families simple steps they can take to be healthier by preparing and eating a nutritious meal together.” Organizers acknowledge that busy schedules and lifestyles may make it difficult for families to gathering for a family meal, but research indicates the benefits make the effort worthwhile. Those benefits include:
- Regular family meals promote healthy eating habits and create a bond between parents and children
- Homemade family meals are usually more economical than eating out
- Eating dinner together improves academic performance in school: 52 percent of children who are academically successful report eating dinner with their families at least twice a week
Burns Middle School FCS educator Katie Blandford and her students have adopted this challenge and have been talking about the importance of developing healthy eating habits and strengthening family ties around the dinner table.
Blandford and her students have selected recipes to take home, and have also gathered a selection of “table topic prompts” to encourage meaningful conversations between parents and children. Topics include questions such as “What makes a good friend?” “If you could meet someone famous, who would it be?” “Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?” and “What are you the most proud of?” and prompts such as “Share a time when you showed kindness to someone else,” “Describe the happiest day of your life,” “Tell the person on your left why you love them” and “”Share one thing you are grateful for today.”
In addition to encouraging her students and their families to participate in FCS Day, Blandford has also challenged her colleagues at Burns Middle School to take the pledge to participate in this event.
“This day is very important to me because I see kids daily and hear about the busy lives they live,” Blandford said. “When parents take the time to talk to their children, it shows them that they care, which strengthens the bond that they need.” Blandford acknowledges that today’s busy lifestyles make it difficult, if not impossible, for families to eat together every night. “But a couple of times a week is a nice goal to try to accomplish.” Blandford said.