Wednesday, October 17, 2012


It's no shocker that life is busy.  A lot of people would say it is "crazy busy", according to the New York Times.  The result? The notion of a family dinner sounds more like fantasy than fact. Thanks to Cozi, help is on the way!

 In order to shed some light on this seemingly universal struggle, Cozi and Partnership for a Healthier America are promoting America Makes Dinner to encourage families all across the country to sit down together, tonight, for dinner. 

According to Cozi CEO Robbie Cape, "Research links frequent family meals to a lower risk of smoking, drinking and drug use, and a Columbia University study even found that kids who eat dinner most often with their parents are 40% more likely to get mainly As and Bs in school." 

I am already a big fan of Cozi, the multi-award winning family organizer, and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to find out first hand why Cozi decided to take part in this campaign.  The responses to my questions are below:   

Q: Why is America Makes Dinner an important initiative for Cozi?
A: Cozi created America Makes Dinner to change the way American families think about dinner and provide them with the tools and encouragement they need to prioritize healthy, sit-down dinners.  Most everyone agrees that eating dinner together is a good thing - good for our health, our families and our wallets.  But things get in the way - like homework, soccer practice and not knowing quick and healthy recipes.  Both Cozi and Partnership for a Healthier America, our partner on the America Makes Dinner campaign, are committed to helping build healthier futures for our children, and we hope that families across the nation will join us to promote the importance of sitting down as a family to have dinner and talk about their day. 

Q: What were the findings as to how often families are able to eat dinner together? What was the biggest obstacle to having family dinner?
A: Cozi's American Dinner Survey found that 52% of families with kids at home miss dinner together at least two or three days each week; a total of 104-156 missed dinners annually.  Fifty percent of respondents said demanding work schedules or kids' extracurricular activities are the biggest obstacles keeping them from having dinner as a family.  

Q: How can Cozi help improve the problem?
A: Cozi helps families solve this problem by simplifying the everyday logistics of busy family life and keeping each family member on an organized schedule and aware of the rest of the family's commitments.  The Meal Planner and Shopping List features are especially helpful for getting dinner on the table.  You can store all your recipes in one easy-to-access place online, add ingredients from your recipes right to your list and drag and drop your recipes to create a dinner plan for the week that the whole family can see.  You can also create shopping lists, and even send your list by email or text to anyone in the family.

Q: What was the most surprising information to come out of the American Dinner Survey?
A: We were most surprised to find out that only 4% of parents reported that cooking the meal is their favorite part of family dinners.  Only 16% said eating a home-cooked meal was their favorite part, and the majority, 61%, said that spending time with the family is their favorite part.  Also, that more than half (59%) of families watch television during some or all of their dinners together.

So tonight's the night to start fresh - pick one of these three great family dinner ideas from celebrity chefs and tons more from all around foodies.  Bon Appetit!


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