Research Shows that Families Value Holiday Gatherings to
Maintain Family Legacy
ORRVILLE, Ohio, Nov. 19
/PRNewswire/ -- It's the time of year when families
across the country sit down to share a family meal and
celebrate the holiday season. Every family has their own
holiday mealtime traditions, whether it is a signature
Thanksgiving turkey dish, customary Chanukah latkes or
traditional Christmas cookies.
A new survey by Kelton Research
on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company reveals how
Americans' are approaching family mealtime this holiday
season by exploring existing family traditions, how new
ones are being adopted, which ones are kept, and which
ones are slipping away.
According to the survey, nearly
seven in ten (68%) Americans will have at least three
generations sitting at the holiday table. While gathered
around the bustling dinner table passing around the gravy
boat and turkey, the coffee and pie, 74% of Americans are
most likely to reminisce about family stories.
Many of the family holiday
traditions take place in the kitchen and around the
dinner table and are at the heart of the holiday meal.
For generations, home chefs everywhere have trusted
brands like Smucker's(R), Jif(R), Crisco(R), Pillsbury(R)
and Hungry Jack(R) to help prepare and preserve favorite
family recipes and create new dishes destined to become
This year The J.M. Smucker
Company invites you to begin a new tradition around the
dinner table by visiting
www.PowerOfFamilyMeals.com for family mealtime
tradition ideas and conversation starters. Visitors to
the site can download easy step-by-step recipe videos and
learn how to make classic mealtime recipes.
The Web site also offers visitors
a variety of delicious recipes for the holiday mealtime
-- such as Smucker's Classic Thumbprint Cookies -- and
family mealtime recipes that can be served throughout the
holidays and beyond. To get you started try a few of
these classic recipes: Port Tenderloin with Cherry
Compote, Herbed Green Bean Casserole, Creamy Parmesan
Potatoes and Peanut Butter-n-Jam Cheesecake.
"Research shows that the majority
of Americans plan to continue the tradition of a large
family meal during the holidays but only a quarter of
Americans actually know how to make all of their family's
traditional dishes," said Maribeth Badertscher, Director,
Corporate Communications, The J.M. Smucker Company.
"The J.M. Smucker Company and its
family of brands are honored to be invited to these
family meals and to play a small, but valuable role in
bringing families together. As we make our products we
try to keep in mind the importance that family meals can
play in our lives and in preserving family mealtime
legacies; which is why we are happy to offer new recipes
that families can download from our Web site for this
year's holiday family meal and family meals to come."
Contrary to conventional wisdom,
family traditions are important to young Americans.
Nearly three out of four (73%) Americans aged 18-44 say
that as they get older, holiday meals become more
important to them, compared to less than half (49%) of
those 45 and older. However, being important doesn't make
them easy to maintain; nearly seven in ten (68%) of all
Americans say that it's getting harder and harder to
reinforce family mealtime traditions.
Author Miriam Weinstein and the
Importance of Family Mealtime
The J.M. Smucker Company has
teamed up with Miriam Weinstein, author of "The
Surprising Power of Family Meals," to offer guidance on
how to use the holiday season as a springboard to
gathering the family around the table throughout the
year. Weinstein has developed recommendations to get the
most out of holiday get-togethers, preserve family
traditions and help growing families create their own
-- Honor your shared past while connecting in the
present: As families grow and new members join
through births or marriages be sure that you share your
families legacies. Also, be receptive to making room for
new traditions that the new family members may bring to
-- Be realistic about your expectations: Instead of
worrying about the meal going perfectly, focus on the
smaller accomplishments like getting everyone to the
table or making sure everyone has had a laugh.
-- Express your appreciation to others: This is great
for kids, let them help clear between courses or ask them
to bring something from the kitchen that you "forgot."
Then, after they finish their job, thank them and let
them know what a tremendous help they've been.
Many Americans are on the right
track by involving kids in the family holiday mealtime
experience. Nearly half (48%) of Americans surveyed have
the kids help set the table, more than three in ten (31%)
enlist them to clean the dishes and over a quarter (27%)
involve them by having them help serve the meal.
"Mealtime traditions and holiday
rituals link us with our extended family, our ethnic
group, our religions and our heritage. They help us to
remember what is important. Even if the event doesn't go
perfectly, we come away with a deeper understanding of
where we come from, and a feeling of being part of a
whole," said Weinstein.
When the holiday meal has been
prepared and Americans are sitting around the holiday
dinner table with their loved ones, nearly three out of
four (72%) are most thankful to have their family
together and more than seven in ten (71%) agree that the
best way to continue their family traditions is through
gatherings and celebrations.
The Importance of Family Mealtime
Beyond the Holidays
Weinstein reminds us that getting
together for a family meal doesn't need to be saved for
holidays or special occasions. The experience of sharing
meals together throughout the year is now recognized for
its potential and far- reaching benefits. Numerous
studies indicate that families that eat meals together on
a regular basis:
-- Are better able to communicate with one another
-- Have stronger family bonds
-- Are healthier (both emotionally and physically)
-- Are more likely to stay together
-- Generally, are more successful
The impact of family meals on
children individually is of even greater importance.
According to research presented by Weinstein, children of
families that eat meals together on a regular basis
-- Make better grades
-- Are less likely to succumb to
-- Are more likely to be
emotionally content and have positive peer relationships
-- Are more likely to turn to
parents to discuss serious issues
-- Have healthier eating habits
For more information and tips from Miriam Weinstein
and the J.M. Smucker Company about the benefits of family