Dinner Together

It’s about more than just food!


Studies support the lifelong benefits of family meals. Eating as a family leads to healthier eating, and improves children’s learning and well-being.

Helps ChIldren Do Better in School

Parents are likely to know more about how children are doing in school.

Supports social-Emotional Development

Teens are more likely to have better self-esteem and less likely to experience depression or develop an eating disorder.

Reduces Risky Behaviors

Children are less likely to use marijuana, tobacco, and other drugs, or have friends who use these substances.

Improves Nutrition & Supports Good Growth

Dinners at home are less likely to have too much sugar and unhealthy fats.

Saves Money

Planning meals and cooking from scratch costs less than many prepared or processed foods.

Encourages Family Togetherness

Family mealtimes help everyone know each other and feel they belong to each other.

A 2017 survey of Addison County high school students showed that teens who regularly ate family meals participated in fewer risky behaviors and had significantly lower substance use.

Dinner Together Handouts

Tips & Recipes
Keep the Peace During Family Meals
Tips & Recipes:
Make Family Dinners a Place of Connection & Belonging
Tips & Recipes
Be Present, Not Perfect
Tips & Recipes
Family Meals Are Easier When You Plan Ahead 
Tips & Recipes:
Use Family Meals to Expand Food Acceptance
Tips & Recipes:
Stretch Your Food Dollars with Family Meals
Tips & Recipe:
Pantry basics for flexible recipes
Tips & Recipe:
What makes a family meal?
Tips & Recipe:
Words matter
Tips & Recipe:
Setting the table for success
Tips & Recipes:
Building Trust at the Dinner Table
Tips & Recipe:
Foster Resilience by Sharing Stories
Tips & Recipe:
One Dinner at a Time
Tips & Recipe:
Creating Household Rituals at the Dinner Table
Tips & Recipe:
Dinnertime Conversation Starters
Tips & Recipes:
You Matter to Me
Tips & Recipe:
Inviting Laughter to Dinner
Tips & Recipe:
Snack for Success
Tips & Recipe:
Building Competence
Tips & Recipe:
Know What’s On the Table

Dressings, Dips, and Sauces with Registered Dietitian Carrie Quimby

Soul Food with Pierre

RiseVT Program Manager, Elisha Underwood, stands with chef Pierre Bartley in a brightly lit kitchen. In from of them are three dishes, grits in front, and fried chicken, greens, and dessert behind nearest to Pierre and Elisha.

Program Manager of Windham County, Elisha Underwood would like to introduce you to her dear friend Pierre Bartley through this 3 part short video series, Soul Food with Pierre.  Soul Food with Pierre highlights a complete meal created by a local soul food enthusiast who has spent his life perfecting recipes taught to him at a very young age. He has found ways to change the recipes to add more flavor and reduce the fat content. Pierre shares that Soul Food is about a bringing people together in a family, neighborhoods or community. Consistent daily meals together can bond a family but also help students thrive in school and reduce risky behaviors. Pierre emphasizes the importance of how the time you invest by sharing meals together is just as important as what is on your plates.


Testimonials From Parents

"It's a nice way for our family to come together at the end of the day"

– Starksboro, VT parent

"With all of us rushing off to school, work, games, and practice, it's a sacred time to all be together and hear what's going on in each of our lives. It's not only about hearing from our kids, but our kids hearing us parents talk and work through issues in our lives."

– Bristol, VT parent

"While it takes some planning, our budget requires us to eat meals at home. Saving money is a bonus on top of the benefits of having family time"

– Lincoln, VT parent

Easy Weeknight Dinners

We are all busy and finding the time to meal plan, shop, and cook isn’t easy. In addition to recipes, learn tips and trick for engaging the whole family.

What about breakfast together?

Any meal that brings your family together can improve intellectual and emotional learning and connection. Dinner time is a good time to reflect on the day, but another meal in the day is the next best thing.

Home is Sweet Enough

When you don’t have sweet drinks in your house, it’s easier for your kids to stick with low to no sugar alternatives. Try just having water or milk with dinner and get ideas for swapping out sweet drinks here.

Other Resources

These websites offer additional recipes and tips, including ideas for conversation topics! Also, learn how you can get 3SquaresVT benefits to put healthy food on the table.