The Family Dinner TableWhat would June Cleaver think if she could see what’s become of the family dinner? Dad’s
off to soccer practice with his son. Mom has just arrived home from work and is off to pick up her daughter from ballet. Both stop to grab
a burger on the way home from all the shopping and extracurricular activities. Although the fictionalized and very idealized family in
“Leave It To Beaver” is just not realistic in today’s world, there’s a lot to be said about the benefits of gathering around the family
table as they did.
The fact is, families who sit down to eat together on a regular basis not only benefit from generally healthier food, but they also get a
healthy dose of stability, strength and support as well.
Recent studies, such as one conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University found that kids
who eat most often with their parents are 40% more likely to get mainly A’s and B’s in school than kids who have two of fewer family dinners per
The more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider
suicide. And they are far more likely to eat their vegetables, learn greater vocabulary, know table manners and delay having sex.
Can there be any greater reasons for gathering your tribe together at least a few times a week for nourishment and connection at the dinnner
Creating a wholesome meal that doesn’t take too much time doesn’t have to be an ordeal. Take a look at Rachael Ray, and the popularity of her
show ’30 Minute Meals’. With just a few ingredients and a little time, a great meal can be enjoyed together. For busy parents, cooking double
when time is available and freezing can be a way to get dinner on the table on busier days – just defrost and heat up. It’s even better
to bring in a meal and sit down together than to skip the together altogether.
Anthropologist Robin Fox from Rutgers University once said, “If it was just about food, we would squirt it into their mouths with a
tube.” Time spent cooking a meal is not time wasted. Eating together, talking about our day reminds us all that family is important and
that we are important to one another.
With a little bit of planning and family cooperation, you can turn that hectic rush of car-eaten fast food into a family ritual that enriches
your soul as well as your body. A menu mailer makes the process a whole
lot easier too!