Canadian children's views of their own lives have worsened over the past
decade; Making Meals Meaningful program helps Canadian parents
strengthen relationships with children
TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - Finding time to connect as a family can
be challenging with demanding schedules, long commutes and social media
playing a prominent role in people's lives. October 16th is World Food Day and Canadian families are encouraged to get together
at mealtime to talk about their day and the important issues facing
According to a global report released by UNICEF, Report Card 11, Canadian children rank in the middle for well-being when compared to
other industrialized countries (17th of 29 countries measured) with particular concerns related to bullying
and unhealthy lifestyles. As well, Canadian children's views of their
own lives have worsened over the past decade and many don't have a
positive view of the quality of their close relationships with their
peers and parents.
Making Meals Meaningful, a program developed in partnership with UNICEF Canada and Dr. Karyn
Gordon and sponsored by Maple Leaf Foods and Maple Leaf Prime®,
connects families during mealtimes using themed conversation starter
cards that parents can use to have engaging, thoughtful conversations
with their children about real, hard-to-discuss issues including
bullying, social media, peer pressure, and drugs and alcohol.
"Children have a lot to cope with on a daily basis, and as parents, it's
not always easy to get our children to open up about important issues
that can significantly impact their overall well-being," said Dr. Karyn
Gordon, a leading North American relationship and parenting expert for
families and organizations. "The new Making Meals Meaningful conversation starter cards that we developed with UNICEF Canada, a
well-trusted and experienced child-focused organization, helps parents
talk to their families about the daily pressures children are facing
today and keep families in touch with what's going on in each other's
"Families, children specifically, are facing social pressures like never
before," said Pam Kellogg, Senior Marketing Director, Maple Leaf
Prime®. "Maple Leaf Prime has a long history of helping families put
nutritious meals on their tables, so we're proud to play a role in
bringing families closer together through meaningful conversations."
The Making Meals Meaningful program provides tips, tools and recipes that parents can use to engage
their families in meaningful conversations and develop deeper
relationships with their children while preparing and sharing meals
together. A new deck of conversation starter cards are now available
online at makingmealsmeaningful.ca. A PDF version of the cards can be downloaded for free, and for a
limited time, a printed deck of cards is available for a small
donation. Proceeds will help UNICEF purchase critical, life-saving food
supplies for children around the world.
"Improving the well-being of children all over the world is very
important to UNICEF," says Sharon Avery, Chief Development Officer,
UNICEF Canada. "Through the Making Meals Meaningful program, we are supporting families to do something simple that is
proven to improve relationships and child well-being: share at least a
few mealtimes together each week."
EDITORS NOTE: Please join Dr. Karyn Gordon and Maple Leaf Prime® Chef
Bob Villeneuve for a Twitter Party on October 16 from 8 pm - 9 pm to talk about the Making Meals Meaningful program and to answer your questions. Join the party by following
@MapleLeafFoods, @MapleLeafPrime, @UNICEFLive and using the hashtag
About Dr. Karyn Gordon
Dr. Karyn Gordon is a leading North American relationship / parenting
expert and her mission is to inspire people to develop exceptional
relationships with themselves and others. For 15 years she has provided
her expertise through national media. She is a regular expert for the
USA's #1 morning show Good Morning America (ABC), Canada's #1 talk-show
Cityline (City) and Toronto's #1 morning show Breakfast Television
(City). Along with her busy speaking schedule and regular media
appearances, Dr. Karyn has maintained her thriving consulting practice
for families for the last 15 years called dk Leadership in Toronto and
New York City to serve organizations and families. She has also
authored four practical resources for teens and parents. Her latest
book (published by Harper Collins) is called Dr. Karyn's Guide to the
Dr. Karyn has a Bachelor in Psychology, a Masters in Counseling and a
Doctorate in Marriage and Family. She has also done extensive studies
in organizational systems, personality and generational differences and
leadership in the workplace.
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian
organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families,
doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children
with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food
security, education, emergency relief and more.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children
regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are
active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our
determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too
far to go to help a child survive.
About Maple Leaf Foods
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a leading food company headquartered in
Toronto, Canada. The Company employs approximately 19,500 people at its
operations across Canada and in the United States, the United Kingdom
and Asia. The Company had sales of $4.9 billion in 2012.
About Maple Leaf Prime® Naturally
Maple Leaf Prime® Naturally is Canada's leading brand of poultry and is
dedicated to making dinner at home the best part of the day for
Canadian families through a wide offering of delicious, healthy and
convenient fresh, frozen and ready-to-eat meal ingredients and meals.
Maple Leaf Prime® Naturally is a Canadian brand and that's part of the
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. family.
SOURCE: Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
For further information:
Dave Bauer/ Sylvia Sicuso
Maple Leaf Foods
416.482.6552, ext.: 8801