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Family Mealtime Challenge

Ethan Bowman (left) and Ayub Barre talk over lunch during the Family Mealtime Challenge at Valley Crossing Elementary School. Ethan holds a strip of paper imprinted with a conversation starter that suggested a topic. The weeklong event encourages students to talk and connect with their classmates and family during meals. Students can also use a bingo card to cross off specific challenges like “eat a colorful food.” (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler)1 / 3
Ethan Bowman, 7, looks like he’s reading a fortune cookie, but he’s actually looking over a conversation starter that he took from a jar at Valley Crossing Elementary School. The jars are part of the Family Mealtime Challenge a program meant to encourage students to “Eat. Talk. Connect." at home and at school. (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler)2 / 3
Aybu Barre, 7, chooses a conversation starter strip from the jar as part of the Family Mealtime Challenge at Valley Crossing Elementary School. The weeklong event encourages students to talk and connect with their classmates and family during meals. Students can also use a bingo card to cross off specific challenges like “eat a colorful food.” (Bulletin photo by William Loeffler)3 / 3

Ethan Bowman, 7, looked as though he was reading a fortune cookie, but he was actually looking over a conversation starter that he took from a jar at Valley Crossing Elementary School. Last week, students took part in the Family Mealtime Challenge, a program that encouraged students to talk and connect with their classmates and family during meals. Students can also use a bingo card to cross off specific challenges like "eat a colorful food."

Principal Lela Olson said the intent is to promote face-to-face communication as well as healthful nutrition.

"It is encouraging quality time, meaning that people sit down and talk with each other at mealtime and make quality food and drink choices."

Bowman and classmates Ayub Barre, 7, and Megan Vance, 8, discussed a conversation topic during lunch. They also brought the strips of paper home to their families and initiated discussions during dinner.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

(651) 459-3435
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