Today I came across a news release from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign entitled "Public Policy Should Promote Family Mealtimes." I have no reservations about recommending family mealtimes (as family and consumer sciences professionals we well know about the benefits) but the public policy part made my brow furrow. Should the government promote family mealtimes through policy?
I decided to look beyond the headline and read the news release. Many of the statements and recommendations made by professor Barbara H. Fiese are valid and I think common sense. Healthy and nutritious food should be made available in all neighborhoods. Communities and organizations should promote family mealtimes. But should the government, and if so, through what kinds of policies?
While I could debate both sides of this issue, I can think of a better use of everyone's time than reading my thoughts on this topic. What about having your students research and debate this issue? What skills would this require? What would students need to know and do before they could debate? Is this an opportunity to teach across disciplines? What kinds of transferrable skills would a project such as this provide? With whom might they share their findings and information?
I'd be interested in knowing if anyone takes up this topic in their classroom. I think it could make a great FCCLA STAR Event Illustrated Talk as well.