One of my favourite childhood memories is our family dinners at home. My mom was an excellent cook, and dinner was always something delicious to look forward to. My parents, my brother and I always sat together for our evening meal. This was our opportunity to talk about our day, share stories and be together as a family. Sometimes, I close my eyes just to remember that precious feeling of being together; at the time, I never realised the importance of those moments – or their transience.
CM: Connecting with each other. Share your day, laugh, vent, plan, schedule.
Oh! and eat!
Healthy, happy, smart kids. Statistics show kids eat healthier even
outside the home, when they’re part of regular family meals. They’re happier
because they’re a part of something special. They learn modelled behaviour,
which helps in and out of the home. And teenagers who eat with the family 4x or
more per week have better grades than those that eat 2x or less.
Meal time is a great barometer. You get a baseline for behaviour. You’ll notice when
things are “just not quite right”, and then you have more opportunity to
observe, and to actively listen.
AO: What are some tips you can give us for bringing our families
back to the table?
- Don’t make a big deal about it (you’ll scare your teenagersJ). Start with meals that you know the
whole family loves. Set the table with everything you need. THEN call the
troops. But the golden rule is this: Mom is stuck to her chair until the end of
- If dinner will be later, put out a bag of carrots and a dip.
- Use the dining room. Enjoy it! Who’s more important than your own
- Keep meal time short – 20-30 minutes, 5 minute clean-up. It promotes a
sense of ease for all!
- Once you have a few weeks in, then try meal plans, throw in more healthy
choices, grocery lists, organize your kitchen to suit your family meals.
- One thing about groceries – Grocery Gateway – they take computer orders
up to 11 pm for delivery the next morning before you go to work! How great is
that? The $10 delivery fee makes up for the extra items you pick up at the grocery
store on the way home when you’re tired and hungry and have no idea what to
have for dinner.