How important is family dinner time?

Caramel-Chocolate Popcorn Bark
Benefits of Teaching Stewardship in the Kitchen
When you think of happy families sitting around the table eating dinner, do you conjure up thoughts of “Leave it to Beaver” or some other old sitcom: The mother walking around in her high heels and pearls with a perfectly set table, perfect dinner and perfect family all sitting at the table? Well, let’s get real. I know that’s sure not me. Although, I do have a thing for cute aprons!
I’m usually doing good to get all four of my boys and my husband to the table in the evening. Not that they don’t want to eat, it’s just that our busy schedules can get in the way. However, we do try to make it a priority to eat dinner together as a family as many nights during the week as possible. Some nights are harder than others, but most nights we succeed.

Over the past few years I’ve been following some research on the benefits of families eating together.The studies show that children who dine with the family eat more fruits and vegetables and are happier, better adjusted and more socially adept. I was surprised to learn that research now suggests that children and adolescents who eat with the family three or more times a week get better grades and are less likely to smoke, abuse drugs or alcohol, suffer an eating disorder, obesity or depression, or attempt suicide.

Teens and tweens need the family table time. They need the positive atmosphere and conversation that should take place at the table. They need to be reminded that they are valued and loved. Families who eat together share values together.

Some days it can seem like such a hassle to get dinner on the table. The other evening I was arriving home from a theater rehearsal with 3 out 4 of my boys. It was a little after 7:00 pm and my older son and husband were also arriving home at the same time. It was total chaos, so I was thankful that I had taken the time to put dinner in the slow cooker early that day, even though at the time I really didn’t feel like it. Within a few minutes we were able to sit down and wind down together as a family over dinner. Seeing what I playfully call “my stinky boys” come together and enjoy each other’s company over dinner made it all worthwhile. I’d like to encourage you to make (or keep!) family dinner time a priority in your house too!

Happy Cooking!

Lisa & The Build A Menu Team

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Caramel-Chocolate Popcorn Bark
Benefits of Teaching Stewardship in the Kitchen

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