National family meals month shows the importance of family meal-time


September is National Family Meals month, an effort shining a spotlight on the importance of family mealtime.

At Giant, a nutrition team helps families plan and prepare quick, easy and affordable meals, like a simple, three-ingredient crockpot recipe for spaghetti squash with chicken meatballs.

Giant nutritionist Holly Doan says she knows that time is at a premium for many local families, especially with school back in session and fall sports in full swing.

The goal is to encourage families to sit down together for just one more meal per week, even if it’s a picnic on a park bench before soccer practice.

“Research shows that families that eat together not only eat healthier but the children tend to have better social skills. They tend to have higher self-esteem, positive social behaviors and kids that eat with their families four times a week actually tend to do better in school. So we know it’s really important,” Holly said.

A small effort, she says, can pay off in big ways.

Giant will work with you if you need help to come up with quick and easy recipes in person or online.

The crockpot recipe Holly made for us only had three ingredients and almost no prep time.



  • 1 medium to large spaghetti squash, washed
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce, your preferred flavor (more if desired)
  • 3 cups of frozen meatballs


  1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half around the middle. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and membranes. Place cut sides down in a large crockpot.
  2. Pour the spaghetti sauce around the sides of the squash ad them place your meatballs around the sides as well.
  3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Test for doneness by piercing the squash with a fork, if it goes through the skin easily it is done
  4. Use tongs to carefully remove the squash from the crockpot. use a fork to pull out all the squash, discard the shell.
  5. Serve with the sauce and meatballs from the crock pot. Enjoy!

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