Family Meals

Eating together as a family can promote family bonding and good nutrition and eating habits. Overall, the parents of 46.7 percent of children reported that their families had eaten at least one meal together every day during the previous week. More than 31 percent of children were reported to eat meals with their families on 4-6 days per week, while 18.1 percent ate meals together on only 1-3 days per week and 3.5 percent of families did not eat at least one meal together during the previous week. On average, children and families ate meals together on 5.2 days during the previous week.

Sharing meals together is more common in lower-income households. Among children with household incomes below 100 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL), 57.4 percent ate at least one meal together with their families every day, while 51.3 percent of children whose household incomes were between 100 and 199 percent of FPL did so. Nearly 43 percent of children with household incomes between 200 and 399 percent of FPL and 38.3 percent of children in households with incomes of 400 percent or more of FPL ate a meal together with their families every day.

Eating meals together every day also varies by race and ethnicity. Hispanic children and non-Hispanic children of other races were most likely to eat at least one meal together as a family every day (52.0 and 51.3 percent, respectively), followed by non-Hispanic White children (44.3 percent) and non-Hispanic Black children (42.3 percent).