In my next few blogs, I’ll be addressing some of my readers’ most burning questions. First up, Dorlon and Dharma want to know:
What’s the deal with family dinner, anyway? Is it really as important as everyone insists? And how can we make it easier, healthier and more fun?
There’s a lot of hot debate and anecdote about the legendary “Family Dinner”. Eating meals together has been credited – for good reason – with big and long-term benefits like better communication and eating habits as well as lower risk of eating disorders, obesity, substance abuse, and depression.
But most experts agree: The important thing about it is the time spent together.
Everyone has to eat. So why not do it with as many family members as possible as often as you can?
Don’t feel guilty if you’re catching your meals on the fly (or in the car) right now. Just getting family dinners on your radar is the first step in the right direction. Then start creating the dinner routine that works for your family, almost like a recipe (hmmm…)
RECIPE FOR A FAB FAMILY DINNER
Take these main ingredients:
- Eat together
- Eat healthy
- Limit distractions, particularly of the electronic variety.
Mix well. Use often. Add these ingredients as desired, for flavor and fun:
- Cook together. Check out Cooking with Kids Foundation for new recipes and ways to get kids to venture beyond the PBJ.
- Spice up the conversation. Branch out from the standard “How was your day?” with some fresh discussion topics.
- Create ritual. Laurie David’s The Family Dinner book and the Family Eats website are rich with recipes, shopping and prep tips, more sustainable choices, and activities to connect on a deeper level.
- Immortalize Grannie’s meatball recipe. The Family Cookbook Project gives you all the tools you need to collect family recipes, design and publish an original family heirloom cookbook.
- Everyone contributes to the cleanup. Many hands make light work, plus giving kids opportunities to pitch in is actually good for them!
How do you do Dinner?