From Omaha to Ogallala, University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension educators are urging Nebraska families to break bread together Nov. 1.

The statewide "Eat With Your Family" initiative kicks off a month of activities around Nebraska during November, the month designed to celebrate NU for Families.

For today's on-the-go families, eating meals on the run or at differing times from each other has become common, said Kathleen Lodl, 4-H youth development specialist. Turning off the telephone and television during mealtime and tuning into each other matters more than some people think, she said.

"Research shows families who eat together at least once a day or more often are stronger than families who do not," Lodl said. "It does not have to be the evening meal, it can be breakfast, the noon meal, or even a snack."

The month-long NU for Families initiative will focus on educational events and programs designed to support families. In addition to the "Eat With Your Family" effort, about 30 Nebraska counties will be implementing various family-strengthening activities throughout November. For example, some counties will be hosting family activity nights, a night to learn more about family members through games and other activities. Other counties will be implementing parent education classes. Programs will be free or cost only nominally to attend, and will support the message that families are important and give ideas for how to make them stronger, she said.

"Kids who grow up in strong families are more likely to succeed," she said.

Counties participating in "NU for Families" events include: Box Butte, Brown/Rock/Keya Paha, Burt, Colfax, Cuming, Dawes, Deuel, Dixon, Dodge, Franklin, Gage, Garden, Garfield/Loup/Wheeler, Fillmore, Hamilton, Jefferson, Keith, Lincoln, Merrick, Platte, Pierce, Red Willow, Saline, Saunders, Scotts Bluff, Seward, Sioux, Thurston, Washington and York.

For more information about events occurring in your community, contact your local NU Cooperative Extension office.

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