UNICEF Canada, Maple Leaf Foods and Dr. Karyn Gordon join forces to get families talking about important issues TORONTO, Nov. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - Mealtimes are a great opportunity to foster discussion and share experiences that bring us closer together. "Making Meals Meaningful", a partnership between UNICEF Canada, Maple Leaf Foods and Dr. Karyn Gordon, aims to help Canadian families connect around the dinner table. The program features themed conversation starter cards that parents can use as a guide to have engaging discussions with their children about important and sometimes hard-to-discuss topics including acceptance, compassion, empathy, generosity and selflessness. "Parents want their children to be more aware, appreciative and kind to others," says Dr. Gordon, one of North America's leading authorities on understanding and connecting with youth. "Sitting down as a family over dinner is a great place to teach these important values." "Mealtimes are precious opportunities for families to nourish their minds and bodies in a hurry-up world," says Lynda Kuhn, Senior Vice President, Maple Leaf Foods. "With the holiday season approaching, this is the perfect time for parents to broaden their children's empathy for people around them and around the world." "Making Meals Meaningful" cards are complimentary and available through the UNICEF Canada website www.unicef.ca until the end of December. The cards are divided into two sets: one for children aged five to nine and one for teens aged 10 to 16. "The great thing about these cards is they can be used with your children all year long as a building block to have deep and meaningful conversations about the importance of showing empathy and generosity to those less fortunate," says Sharon Avery, Chief Development Officer, UNICEF Canada. As part of the U.N., UNICEF is active in more countries and saves more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. EDITORS NOTE: Please join Dr. Karyn Gordon for a live chat on Maple Leaf Foods' Facebook page on December 5, from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm to talk about the "Making Meals Meaningful" program and to answer your questions. About Dr. Karyn Gordon Dr. Karyn Gordon is one of North America's leading relationship experts specializing in Gen Y, and her mission is to inspire people to develop exceptional relationships with themselves and others. For 14 years, she has provided her expertise through national media. 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 'dkb coaching & wellness studio' in Toronto and one in 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 Teen Years. 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.