Ten Ways to Make families get together for dinner. - Recipesupermart

Ten Ways to Make families get together for dinner.

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 Dinnertime offers more than Mom’s  favorite  meal.

Would it be of paper-wrapped peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches strewn on an SUV’s back-seat? Or of your young son or daughter trying to swallow a sandwich whole while running on to the soccer field? Or, would it be of you or your husband, tired from a long day at work, eating leftovers alone under a single kitchen light?

Without question, families find it increasingly difficult to be together at dinnertime. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be. According to a USA Today poll, 70 percent of working men are willing to give up some pay for time with their families. It seems the privilege of sharing a daily home-cooked meal has become reserved for a narrow few…perhaps only those who turn off their cell phones and television sets and schedule nothing during dinner hour.

 

 

The impact of family dinner is underestimated. Gathering around the dinner table provides a chance not only to encourage children to make healthy nutritional choices, but also to help them make smart lifestyle choices. Dinnertime provides a remarkable forum for discovering what is going on in your children’s lives. Having a block of time set aside allows you to stay updated on your children’s school and social lives. Exposure to your grown-up conversation with your partner also broadens their vocabularies. And, when you include children in the conversation, they feel their parents are interested in them and value what they have to say.

Family dinners reduce possible dangers down the road. Studies at the University of Minnesota and The National Centre on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) indicate that teenagers who regularly eat dinner with their families have healthier body images, higher grades, and are less likely to use drugs or alcohol.

“The Importance of Family Dinners VII,” found that “compared to teens that have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are:

Almost four times likelier to use tobacco;

More than twice as likely to use alcohol;

Two-and-a-half times likelier to use marijuana; and

Almost four times likelier to say they expect to try drugs in the future.”

So, spread the word that dinner is not optional in your house, and bring the family together on as many nights as you possibly can.

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Ways to Make the Most of Dinnertime

Here are tested ways to make family dinner fun and build traditions everyone benefits from and enjoys:

Double Desserts-– Now and then, shock your children by announcing double dessert night.

May I Take Your Order?— Transform the kitchen into a restaurant and assign everyone different roles-owner, chef, waiter, customers, cashier-and the kitchen becomes a learning environment especially for young children.

Assistant Chef– You’ll see more of your child if you enlist his services to fill the breadbasket, carry dishes to the table, or mix the salad.

Tuesday-Ben’s Night– Assign each member of the family a night that he is “responsible” for dinner or if old enough, to plan it. Everybody helps with the preparation. Even a four-year-old can take hot dogs out of the package, tear lettuce leaves for a salad or pour sauce on ice cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast for Dinner— Unusual enough to be remembered and especially easy when time is short. Serve a dinner of waffles, pancakes, French toast or another typical morning meal such as bacon and eggs.

Candlelight Dinner— Once every few weeks, put fresh flowers on the table, light dinner candles, and take a moment to express gratitude that you are a family.

What’s Cooking? — Cook something with your child at least once a month. Simple recipes work best for children who usually can’t wait to eat whatever they make. Note: Invest in a children’s cookbook to make cooking more interesting for your young chef.

 

 

 

 

Pizza Party– Buy prepared pizza crust (Italian pizza bread) from your supermarket or only the dough from your local pizza parlour. The children punch down the dough, pull it into shape and sprinkle on their favourite toppings.

Family and Friends– Encourage your child to invite a friend to dinner once a month. This helps you form a better relationship with your child’s friends, and your child might be more comfortable discussing issues that arise outside the home if he or she has someone her own age present. It is a good tradition to continue throughout adolescence when teens often look to their friends for support.

 

 

 

Best and Worst– Go around the table and have each person tell you what the best and worst part of his day was. Parents respond, too…

When time allows, prolong the dinner experience with the promise of a board game, more work on a jig-saw puzzle, or turn on the radio and dance in the kitchen for a few minutes before or after everyone helps with clean up. The ritual of dinner together will become a fond memory of growing up…and of you.

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