"Making Meals Meaningful" Connects Families Around The Dinner Table

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Mealtimes are a great opportunity to foster discussion and share experiences that bring us closer together. "Making Meals Meaningful", a partnership between UNICEF Canada, Maple Leaf Foods and Dr. Karyn Gordon, aims to help Canadian families connect around the dinner table. The program features themed conversation starter cards that parents can use as a guide to have engaging discussions with their children about important and sometimes hard-to-discuss topics including acceptance, compassion, empathy, generosity and selflessness.

"Parents want their children to be more aware, appreciative and kind to others," says Dr. Gordon, one of North America's leading authorities on understanding and connecting with youth.  "Sitting down as a family over dinner is a great place to teach these important values."

"Mealtimes are precious opportunities for families to nourish their minds and bodies in a hurry-up world," says Lynda Kuhn, Senior Vice President, Maple Leaf Foods.  "With the holiday season approaching, this is the perfect time for parents to broaden their children's empathy for people around them and around the world."

"Making Meals Meaningful" cards are complimentary and available through the UNICEF Canada website unicef.ca until the end of December.  The cards are divided into two sets: one for children aged five to nine and one for teens aged 10 to 16.

"The great thing about these cards is they can be used with your children all year long as a building block to have deep and meaningful conversations about the importance of showing empathy and generosity to those less fortunate," says Sharon Avery, Chief Development Officer, UNICEF Canada.  As part of the UN, UNICEF is active in more countries and saves more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization.