Family Meals Are More Frequent, Last Longer During Pandemic

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on StudyFinds.

Americans may love fast food, but it turns out more people are finally slowing down and enjoying their family meals. Dinnertime now lasts 15 minutes longer in the typical American household than it did before the pandemic began, according to a recent study of 2,004 people. Overall, the average family meal has gone from 70 minutes to 85 minutes now — nearly a 20 percent increase in length overall.

In the survey, conducted by OnePoll, researchers found that families are coming together for meals five times a week, compared to four times a week pre-pandemic. Those mealtimes are becoming more important, with 58 percent believing it is now the most relaxing part of their day. In fact, more Millennials (ages 25-40) agree with this in comparison to just 36 percent of Baby Boomers (age 57+).

Moreover, many now consider a close friend (55%), colleague (38%), or neighbor (36%) to be “part of the family.” More than two-thirds (68%) of Americans reported adding a new “family member” during the last 18 months and 43 percent of those are still including that person in family mealtime.

The increased time together has also led to greater bonding opportunities. More than half of American parents (55%) in the poll say that cooking with their kids is a regular part of family mealtime now. Respondents also shared stories of their most memorable mealtime moments, including holiday gatherings, unexpected proposals, food fights, and even one funny incident where burnt cooking gave way to a family pizza night.

Source: StudyFinds

Help us reach the next generation of families

Back to Top

[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

  • Support Our Mission

    HomeWord is non-profit, donor supported ministry. If you would like to partner with HomeWord in our effort to help more parents and families you can make a donation. Your investment will allow us to expand this ministry by offering more resources to families and churches in need.

  • Contact Information

    • HomeWord
      PO Box 1600
      San Juan Capistrano, CA

    • Send us an email

    • 800-397-9725
      (M-F: 8:30am-5pm PST)