The Surprising Power of Family Meals is the first book to take a complete look at a ritual that was virtually universal a generation ago but has undergone a striking transformation. No longer honored by society as a time of day that must be set aside, some families see family supper as little more than a quaint relic. But others are beginning to recognize it as a lifeline – a way to connect with their loved ones on a regular basis and to get more enjoyment out of family life. The Surprising Power of Family Meals presents stories, studies, and arguments from the fields of psychology, education, nutrition, family therapy, anthropology, sociology, linguistics, and religion. It provides examples of families and communities around North America responding creatively to the pressures of a 24/7 world to share strategies for taking what is best from our past and transforming it to meet current needs.