Reclaiming Dinner

By Nonna Joann • Mar 16th, 2010 • Category: Nonna's Nutrition News & Views

DSC03836One of the primary functions of the family is to produce and reproduce persons—biologically, socially and spiritually. A family is the most basic social unit. The family is the smallest form of government. It’s where children learn to be good citizens.

Our families are splintered because we no longer do things together as a family. Watching TV in the same room doesn’t count. In fact, we don’t do that anymore, because kids have TVs in their bedrooms.

We no longer even eat together. It’s time, friends, to reclaim the family dinner. Yes, there’s a million reasons why it’s difficult to get dinner on the table. More reasons why we can’t all eat together. In fact, only half of American families eat dinner together. A third of families eat meals in shifts. In four out of ten homes the TV is blaring. As shocking as that is, in four percent of households, there’s a computer whiling away beside the dinner plate!

A recent survey found, 51 percent of families reported eating fast food as a family meal one to two times a week. Seven percent said they had fast food for dinner three to four times a week. We all have to eat. We learn how to be a family during dinner. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually we are nurtured when we share family meals. Every day is a family celebration when you eat dinner together.

Ally helps prepare dinner.
(You can make this poofy chef’s hat, Click Here.)

We are nurtured physically when we eat real, whole foods. We are nurtured emotionally, when we connect with family members. We are nurtured spiritually, when we thank God for our blessings.

Family Dinner is as Simple as 1-2-3

    1. Make The Time
    Not that long ago, families would actually linger over dinner. It used to be called the “dinner hour.” Now it’s more like 15 minutes. Take the time to enjoy the food that was prepared (not purchased at a fast food outlet). Families would know what their kids were doing, because they actually talked to them during dinner.

    2. Just Say No
    It just takes practice saying “no” to outside noise during the dinnertime. Say “no” to the TV, the telephone (cell phones, too), the computer and activities conflicting with the dinner hour.

    3. Everyone Pitches In
    Everyone helps with food preparation, table setting and cleanup. One person isn’t doing all the work. The whole family can be in the kitchen together, one person setting the table, someone else peeling potatoes, another making a salad, and everyone can help clean up afterward. Not only does this divide the workload, it’s also a good opportunity for communication and teaching children how to cook. Another bonus, picky eaters, who have participated in the making of a meal, are more likely to eat it!

Baby BitesCLICK HERE for ordering information for Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater and The Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures.

For info about the free Baby Bites Ezine, CLICK HERE.

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One comment on »

  1. I agree! There is a great cookbook series called Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely, her books are about bringing families back to the dinner table with healthy, easy to fix, menus. Her menus are based on seasons. She uses real ingredients, most of her meal have a short list and can be fixed in 30 minutes. She has a shopping list with each weekly menu and is a real time saver. Nonna JoAnn I think you would enjoy her cookbooks. She has download-able shopping lists at her website. My 4 kids love most of her recipes. We eat a sit down meal, home fixed meal, 6 days a weeks. Kids ages 18, 14, 10 and 8. Everybody helps fix, and everyone cleans, on most Fridays we do crystal, china and candlelight with music.

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