Monday, September 9, 2013

Family Time part 1: What do your kids really want for dinner?

    
 Last winter I was fortunate to be able to attend the 2013 Build Your Own Blog Conference put on by Six Sisters. It was held near my home in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I loved meeting so many new bloggers and it was super to see many very successful bloggers in person too.  One of the highlights of the day however, was hearing the keynote speaker,Brooke Walker from Channel 5's daytime lifestyle show, Studio 5.  I loved her talk!!! She challenged us to find a focus for our blogging, to figure out why we blog and share that focus with our readers.  That got me thinking about why I spend so many hours posting about cooking.  Obviously, I love creating and learning to cook new recipes but on a bigger scale,  I see a great need to get people excited about spending more time at home together especially at the dinner table.  

     Some of my favorite memories growing up are from when we were all seated around the table.  We always ate dinner together and that was basically the time we got to know each other and what we did with our day. My dad had a great sense of humor and very definite ideas on how you eat.  He wouldn't eat until his plate was dished up and totally picture perfect with seasonings and it was just so.  His motto was "Always leave the table a little bit hungry."  He said it and he did it and never had a weight problem through his life.  

     Good memories.  Some people are doing so many, many things in their life that they have forgotten how important these times are to spend with their families.  Even if there is just 2 of you.  It's quality time and it's important!

    
     So to help you along the path to more family time at dinner time, I have come up with this--

 Top Twelve List

Reasons To Eat Family Meals Together!

12.  Supper can be a stress reliever! ( See CNN Living, Sarah Klein here).

11.  You can lower your intake of processed foods. (See Deseret News Taking 
      back Family Dinner here). 

10.  Kids might learn to eat their veggies. (See CNN Living,
      Sarah Klein, here).

9.   Kids might learn to like a bigger variety of healthy foods!
      (See CNN Living, Sarah Klein, here).

8.   You control the portions.  
      See CNN Living, Sarah Klein,here). 

7.   Saves you money!  Studies found that when families eat out
      they spend an average of $8.oo per person.  Home meals 
      averaged at $4.50 per person. (See CNN Living, Sarah Klein,
      here).  I personally think home meals are much less than that!

6.   "Family Dinner can act as an intervention with children
       who are feeling down or depressed." (See CNN Living, Sarah  
      Klein, here),    

5.   Children get better grades and the conversation builds their
      vocabulary.  (See CNN Living, Sarah Klein,here).

4.  Dietary Problems such as obesity,over eating,lack of key 
      nutrients in diet. (see Newsobserver.com, here).

3.     Children may have fewer emotional and behavioral problems and     
      greater emotional well being.  (see USA Today, Sharon Jayson here).

2.   It gives parents time with their children and each other to set clear
      goals, set boundaries and talk and have a good time together. 
     (See Deseret News, Taking Back Family Dinner,here).

1.  "When Children have dinner with their families at least 5 to 7 times a 
      week they are 33% less likely to use alcohol or drugs." (See Deseret News,
     Taking Back Family Dinner, here).

  Wow! What a list. The articles linked to each reason are really very good so visit them if you can.  

     I hope that if you eat most of your family meals at home that this will make you feel very good.  I hope that if you haven't been taking time for this very important meal at home that you might be persuaded to rethink your time and make it a priority.  To help you out I have prepared a list of ideas to help simplify the tasks involved.  Watch for that next time! 

But just for now, What keeps you from eating at home at a regular time and what tips do you have for making time for dinner?

 Thanks for listening!  

This was shared on these great sites!
Mommifried 
The Country Cook 

44 comments:

  1. Thanks for the list! As kids we had family dinners every night as well. We want to raise our little son with family dinners as well, and are on our way to doing that. Though, as we get busier, I can see how hard that is. The draw for me is that it is cheaper, healthier, and as you list, family time is so important!

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  2. I must have missed seeing you there! I loved hearing Brooke talk. She was amazing. Thank you for your wonderful articles and links. I've visited a few. Keep up the great blogging!

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  3. This is such a great list, I love all the new ideas! I wish I could have all these great blog contests in my state! I am in San Diego but I don't get to see like any of these great events!

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  4. Thanks for this encouragement! I really appreciate it!
    Tina from mommynificent.com

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  5. Great list and all of it very true - it's so difficult sometimes to get everyone together for meal times, but it's important family time together.

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  6. I love family dinner, I do not have to eat I just enjoy watching my family. Reality is, I sit there alone with the kids while my husband tries to relax in the living room (working full time, coaching and doing his doctorate). I just have to wait until we are in a more relaxed season of life!

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  7. We eat most of our family meals at home, but I am afraid we do not eat them together. This was an amazing list, and I used to follow a lot of these. My parents, my daughter, and I live in the same house, and I am the chief cook. I cook dinner, and we used to eat together. However, discussion did not occur since we don't get along too well with my dad. My dad usually comes to the dinner table one hour late. My mom is generally on the computer. My daughter is in her own world, and I am watching the news. I know it sound horrible, but it's better than watching my dad eat (trust me, you don't want to see that), and much better than arguments at the dinner table. I love the times when my mom, my daughter and I get to eat together!

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  8. We are working on family dinner now that the toddler is old enough to sit at the table. It's often so much easier to just plop down on the couch though! I guess the good news is that we all eat together, just working on the location that we eat.

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  9. Your post has taken my on a trip down memory lane to our family dinner times when I was a kid. We always ate together and I appreciate that we did that now that I have my own children. I think washing the dishes is also a great family time. I know all kids hate washing the dishes - but it is a great chance for parent and child to chat some more one on one.
    I enjoyed your post, thanks.

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  10. We always eat dinner together as a family, as both my husband and I think that it is important to connect at the end of the day. Our kids are still young, so getting them to the table isn't that hard. I'm not looking forward to the teenage years of sports and other activities that will interrupt that time together.

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  11. I love all of your reasons for eating dinner together as a family and also your dad's saying. That's great!
    -Tiff

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  12. When my four children were growing up we always enjoyed family meals together especially our birthday breakfasts, decorations and all. I can tell you from experience that when a family comes together around the table as often as possible, you are not only building happy memories but passing on traditions to your children that they will use with their own families. <3

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  13. We used to always eat at the dinner table together but after the youngest hit high school it was hard to get everyone together. I just started in September with a monthly family meal on Sunday in order to get back to this. Terrific list!

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  14. I just registered for that conference in Feb. It's my first conference and I am so excited!

    When I was a child, we ate together as a family and I loved it. We have continued this tradition. I hope my kids enjoy it and benefit from it!

    Wendy @ lilhuckleberries.com

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    1. So glad you have been you are able to have that joy in your life! I hope to see you there in Feb.!

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    2. Oh good...I'll kind of "know" someone!

      Wendy

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    3. When it gets closer it would be fun to arrange to meet there if you would like. I will send you a message maybe in January!

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  15. I wanted to invite you to the Friday Flash Blog Party, the best linky in town! I hope you'll join us and link up. Who knows. You may just get highlighted!

    The party goes on ALL weekend.

    Jennifer @ The Jenny Evolution
    www.thejennyevolution.com

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  16. Growing up we always ate together at the table. When I had six children we always ate together. It is actually easier to cook and feed six children at one setting and then getting it cleaned up after. I always make things my children liked and never made them "eat everything".

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  17. Those are all good reasons for eating a family dinner together. We all sit at the table for dinner because it's a great time of the day to come together and share our days with one another.

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    1. It really is a great time. That is what enriches our lives and bring us close to the ones we love! Thanks for your comment!

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  18. We have always had dinner together as a family, lunch too when the kids are home from school :) I am not a good eater and i often go days without eating however I still sit at the table, converse during dinner times, prep and cleanup and i am usually the last to leave the table as I never want to leave someone who is still eating alone, child or adult. People just don't realize the power of that half hour or so together really has on a family. The only thing extra i would add is a no phone rule, meaning no texting or games or phone unless its an important call like when my dad gets a call from work telling him what time he needs to show up. No one is going to enjoy being at the table if the role models make it out to be a chore!

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    1. I love that rule! It's great that you take the time to communicate and stay to make it a quality time.

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  19. We eat at home usually most nights, though we do love to treat ourselves a couple times a month to a nice dinner out. Sitting down together each night at dinner is super important we take the time to wind down and re connect as a family :)

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  20. I think it's amazing what eating dinner as a family can do. I had never really thought about it until lately when my husband is in school at night but it is such a good time to connect with him and talk about things that we need to discuss.

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  21. I love those facts. I agree with you, though. I think the cost of eating at home is much lower than suggested! We love eating together, and I really do think it is so important!

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  22. I have a toddler. Once he was able to sit in the high chair we have made it a point to sit at the table together most nights of the week. Usually the only thing that gets in the way is if my husband works late. Other than that, even if it is something to go, we eat at home together.

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    Replies
    1. I love hearing these good responses. And it is important to start when they are young so it becomes a habit even before they are aware of it!

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  23. Thanks for your post! My husband and I want to teach our 1.6 year old son about the importance of family meal time. My son has started to join us on the big table (via the high chair without the table) and really enjoys eating with us. Sometimes, when my husband and I eat from bowls, my son insists on eating from our bowls instead of his plastic plate. So we make it a point that he gets the similar bowl as well. We're also trying to cut out on the tv time that goes with family meals. We were very thankful for the tv since my son gets distracted and we can easily feed him. But now, we're open to the challenge of removing the tv when eating so we can truly enjoy our family meal time together! :)

    www.mommychinky.com

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  24. Great post. I often had family meals with my parents as a child. sometimes it was just my mom and us kids, because my dad would be away because he was in the Air Force as a load master. when he retired after 22 years, my mom went to work as was a an assistant at a fabric store. Dad still worked, but he was at the post office as a supervisor. by the time I graduated from high school but still living at home, we all at home together, Now I still go to my parent's house to eat there at least once a week. When I have a child, eating together will be the order of dinner.
    I have one nephew who is picky, and Sunday, he only wanted smasd Potatoes (not a misspell, that is what this 3-year old kid calls it, lol), but is learning to eat veggies. the others are not as picky. My sister's kids love fruit. The last one (17 year old) is a "vacuum cleaner" (of course those of you with teenage boys can relate to that.

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  25. Dinner time is a big part of our family time. So I've invited my sons into the kitchen to help me cook and my husband sites on the couch and engages in our "daily" catch up sessions. My family has always bonded over food and music. The boys are learning to cook and prepare the main dishes and I am starting to only do the sides and all the while I hear about school activities, classes and teenage/grade school drama (smiles). Thank you for the tips, I will make sure to show my two new resident cooks some more ways we can bond...

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    1. That's what it's all about isn't it? Your comments make me smile and glad that you have that joy in your family!

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  26. Great list -- I especially like reasons #9 and 10! My toddler is such a picky eater and I'm praying that eating together at the dinner table with mommy and daddy will help him eventually learn to eat everything on his plate!

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    1. That is a great point! When children see their parents enjoying healthy food they are more likely to try it. Thanks for your post!

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  27. We try to do dinner as a family when we can. I also try to include the children (within reason) in the process of planning the meal. When they feel like they are getting to eat what they want, they do a much better job at eating a good meal.

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    1. I love that idea! Also, if they get to help prepare it I think they taste along the way and develop an interest in trying new things!

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  28. It's just my husband and I right now. We are working on a little one and this is great to remember for the future. We definitely always eat dinner together mostly at home. It's not always at a reasonable time since he has such sporadic hours but we do manage to eat together.

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  29. Awesome, thanks for sharing. I hope I can attend a cool conference like that.
    Relaxed Thairapy

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  30. We eat at home every night, and have since we've been married. It was natural since our families did, too. The only exception is that my husband travels for work, but then the kids and I eat together.
    http://www.lakecountyhomeschool.com

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  31. I loved this article. I'm the oldest of 8 and really believe in family eating together. We didn't have a dining table, so we usually all sat in the living room eating on the sofas and chairs sprawled about and ate and talked. Eating together is one of the things I remember most about my childhood.

    Whitney

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  32. What age is a good age to begin eating meals together? My son is 2 and goes to bed fairly early. There doesn't seem to be enough time for dinner to be made between coming home from work and his bed time!

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  33. Yes! Family dinners are so important to me. And it's one of the few things I really do well consistently. Of course there are those nights when there is more fighting than meaningful conversation and nights when we all eat at different times while we're coming and going... but at least we sit down together more nights than not.

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  34. Great advice. Some of my best memories are around the dinner table.

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