Celebrate Idaho Family Dinner Night on September 26

Please note that this blog post is from the 2019 Idaho Family Dinner Night. Please visit odp.idaho.gov/family-dinner-night for current Family Dinner Night resources.

Eating family dinners contributes to your child’s well-being.

Be the Parents is kicking off an Idaho Family Dinner Night campaign to encourage families across the state to make and enjoy a meal together on September 26.

To help you celebrate, Be the Parents is offering a free recipe guide that you can use to spark dinner conversations.

In the recipe guide, you’ll find easy, budget-friendly meal ideas from around Idaho:

  • shrimp ceviche from the Mexican restaurant Pollos y Mariscos El Guero in Nampa;
  • one-pot penne from Albertsons Dietitian Molly Tevis;
  • turkey tacos and black bean brownies from the Idaho Foodbank’s Cooking Matters program; and
  • Instant Pot wild rice with berries and nuts from Danielle Scott, the University of Idaho extension educator for the Nez Perce Tribe reservation in Lapwai.

During your evening, share your family dinner photo with the hashtag #IdahoFamilyDinnerNight.


Idaho Family Dinner Night “officially” falls on September 26, but any night can be family dinner night! In fact, if breakfast works better for your schedule, that’s great, too.

Talking and sharing a meal is one of the best ways to maintain and build strong relationships with your children. Children in families who eat frequent family dinners experience

  • lower risks of obesity;1
  • decreased stress;and
  • increased achievement in school.3


According to the Center on Addiction:2

  • Teens who had frequent family dinners (5 to 7 per week) are more likely to have high-quality relationships with their parents.
  • Teens with high-quality family relationships are much less likely to use alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco.
  • Teens with high-quality family relationships are less likely to feel that it’s okay to get drunk or use marijuana and tobacco.
  • Teens who have fewer than three family dinners per week are twice as likely to say they expect to try drugs (including marijuana and prescription drugs without a prescription to get high) in the future.

So, this September 26, join us in celebrating Idaho Family Dinner Night. Then, aim to eat together as family at least five times a week!


1Is Frequency of Shared Family Meals Related to the Nutritional Health of Children and Adolescents?, Amber J. Hammons, PhD, and Barbara H. Fiese, PhD.

2The Importance of Family Dinners VIII, The Center on Addiction (formerly The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University).

3Correlations between family meals and psychosocial well-being among adolescents, Marla E Eisenberg et al.