Do you make a conscious effort to eat your meals at the table? Statistics show that family dinners are slowly on the rise. This is wonderful news considering the benefits that come with that meal!
My husband and I both grew up in homes where family dinner was the rule, not the exception. We wanted that in our home too.
However, I spent 7 years of our marriage working evenings and missing 85% of our family dinners. To say I felt disconnected is an understatement. When we moved to Florida, that changed. I now get to sit with my family 6 nights a week. When I work on the 7th, I KNOW my guys are sitting together and enjoying their meal.
It isn’t always easy, but knowing the benefits keeps us going!
They say kids who sit and talk with their families at dinner have an increased vocabulary. It is also a proven fact that children who eat at the table consume MORE fruits & vegetables, as well as LESS fried foods & soda.
Want more benefits? How about these? Kids & teens who spend family time at the table have a lower risk of depression, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders AND wait longer when it comes to sexual activity… SIGN US UP!! It is amazing what opening the lines of communication can do for the WHOLE family.
For us, dinner has become a fun place to try new foods, talk about our day, plan our week and yes, even joke around. Don’t forget, we have 3 boys. No matter how wonderful dinner is, it always includes reminders to use a fork, to not make your brother laugh so hard he chokes, to not talk with your hands (because I’m tired of picking plates up off the floor) and of course… spilled water cups.
Yet, I wouldn’t change it!!
When I say “Family dinner”, I do not only mean those with kids. At Whitney’s Kitchen, we are all at different stages of our lives. Perhaps dating or newlyweds. Couples with children. Single parents. Retired. Even empty nesters figuring out how to sit at a table for one or two again.
If you don’t already subscribe to the Dinner at the Table philosophy, I urge you to start.
Here are a few ideas that might help:
- NO television or cell phones.
- NO yelling/fighting. If you are dealing with something, save it for after the meal.
- EVERY person helps. Setting the table, clearing the table, cooking. Family = Team.
- Try something new! Exotic fruit, new vegetable. Make it a game every couple of months.
- It doesn’t have to be a 5-course meal! Nosh Pots in the crock-pot are incredibly filling!
- Create a ‘Build Your Own’ bar. Tacos, burritos, baked potatoes… Endless, delicious fun!
- Freezer meals are awesome! 1 day of prep = A full week (or month) of meals!
So, clear off the mail, pull up a chair & enjoy some quality time with your family!