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Parents can make a big impact on preventing underage drinking by bonding over a meal

Posted at 1:33 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 15:33:27-04

Parents Empowered is partnering with Associated Foods to kick off a statewide underage drinking prevention effort in local grocery stores.

The educational campaign will be displaced at 38 Associated Retail Operations stores which include: Dick's Market, Dan's Food, Macey's, Fresh Market and Lin's.

We talked with Ashlee Johnstun, Director of Customer Relations for Associate Retail Operations for Associated Foods, who says education materials throughout these stores will encourage parents to "Learn the Recipe for Kids' Healthy Future" - like enjoying family meals and spending time together having fun to keep kids alcohol-free.

The education in grocery stores is so crucial because studies show that children who eat meals with their family five to seven times a week are 33 percent less likely to drink underage.

By spending this time at the dinner table talking with your kids, and bonding over a meal, parents can make a big impact on preventing underage drinking.

Johnstun says make grocery shopping and preparing meals a family activity. Associated Foods makes it simple with easy-to-prepare entrees that are ready to cook in the meat department. Look for snack trays with fruits and veggies in the produce department. Even the deli has time-saving meals like rotisserie chickens, soups and sandwiches.

Research indicates children are less likely to drink when they feel close to their parents and regularly eat family meals together.

Parents should spend at least 10-15 minutes with their child daily, doing what their child enjoys so they're part of their world.

Every kid deserves the chance to reach the age of 21 with a healthy brain, free from the harms of alcohol.

Parents' strong disapproval of underage drinking is the No. 1 reason kids choose not to drink.

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