Oklahoma County Cooperative Extension Service

Take the Pledge to Prepare Safe and Healthy Family Meals

In September we are celebrating National Food Safety Education Month and National Family Meals Month.  Multiple studies show that home-cooked meals nourish the spirit, brain and health of all family members. Preparing healthy and safe meals at home is made easy with new resources from the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education and the Food Marketing Institute Foundation.

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service (OCES) is teaming up with these organizations to promote food safety and family meals.  Amanda Ford, OCES Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and Registered Dietitian urges families to pledge to prepare one additional family meal per week.  Ford states that if you want to learn more about the National Family Meals Month™ and research on the benefits of family meals go to  

Recipes for Rosemary Turkey Meatloaf; Roasted Garlic Cauliflower; Maple Syrup Pork Chops; and Tex-Mex Potato Skins can be found at  Each recipe includes food safety instructions built right in.  Other resources at can get you started with family meal planning and with modeling for all family members important safe food handling and preparation behaviors.

According to the Food Marketing Institute Foundation, there are many benefits to families in making and sharing meals at home:

• The more meals families share, the better their nutrition.

• Kids and teens who eat meals with their families 4+ times per week earn better test scores and succeed in school.

• Frequent family meals increase self-esteem, sense of wellbeing, positive social behaviors and stronger family connections.

• The more families share meals the less likely their kids are to drink alcohol, smoke or use marijuana.

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