It’s National Family Meal Month and local health educators are encouraging Basin residents to make family meal time a priority. Ashley Stegeman, USU Extension educator over the Food Sense program, has a list of reasons why Basin families should invest in family meal time and how to make it easier. Meals provide an opportunity to take time to connect as a family, explains Stegeman. To make it easier, plan meals ahead of time, research meal planning ideas, schedule a set meal time, involve family members in meal prep as well as meal cleanup. Another key to success is establishing family rules and setting all phones and devices aside during meal times. Your efforts can pay off quickly as studies show that children who participate in regular family mealtimes have an overall healthier diet, perform better academically, develop larger vocabularies, and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. For more information on making the most of family meal time, visit