There are days when getting everyone in the family fed is a piece of cake (or chicken or something). There are other days when it seems impossible to feed ourselves much less anyone else–pulling out a box of Cheerios and a spoon becomes almost more than we can handle.
Whether you’re cooking for yourself or your family or a group of girlfriends, we all like to save time and money. Girlfriend Guru LISA HOLCOMB shares her real-life, practical women’s wisdom (aka: girlfriend advice) about meal preparation.
When you think of happy families sitting around the table eating dinner do you conjure up thoughts of “Leave it to Beaver” or some other old sitcom? The mother walking around in her apron, high heels, and pearls with a perfectly set table, perfect dinner, and perfect family all sitting at the table. Well, let’s get real please. I know that’s sure not me. Although, I do have a bit of an apron fetish.
I’m usually doing good to get all four of my boys and my husband to the table in the evening. Not that they don’t want to eat, just our busy schedules can get in the way. However, we do try to make it a priority to eat dinner together as a family as many nights during the week as possible. Some nights are harder than others. Some nights we’re not all at home. Still, we make it a priority as much as we can.
Over the past few years I’ve been following some research on the benefits of families eating together. It really is amazing what a difference a positive meal time can make in children and families. The studies show that children who dine with the family:
- eat more fruits and vegetables
- are happier
- are better adjusted
- are more socially adept
- get better grades
- are less likely to smoke, abuse drugs, or alcohol
- are less likely to suffer from eating disorders, obesity, or depression
Kids of all ages benefit from family meal time together. Teens and tweens need the family table time. They need the positive atmosphere and conversation that should take place at the table. They need to be reminded that they are valued and loved. Our two youngest children were adopted from the Texas foster care system and its amazing how much healing can be done around the kitchen table eating a meal together and bonding. Families who eat together share values together.
- If you couldn’t watch TV or go online for a month, how would you spend that time?
- If you could have any superpower, which would you choose? (This one is a regular topic at our table.)
- How can you tell someone you love them without using words?
- If you could be a famous person for a week, who would you be and why?
- If you could trade places with your parents for a day, how would you do things differently?
Some days it can seem like such a hassle to get dinner on the table. The other evening I was arriving home with three of my four boys. It was a little after 7:00 pm and my oldest son and husband had recently arrived home. It was total chaos, so I was thankful that I had taken the time to put dinner in the slow cooker early that day, even though I didn’t feel like it at the time. Within a few minutes we were able to sit down and wind down together as a family over dinner.
Seeing what I playfully call “my stinky boys” come together and enjoy each other’s company over dinner made it all worthwhile. What are you and your family having for dinner tonight? Whatever it is, enjoy it with your family.
LISA HOLCOMB lives near Austin, Texas with her husband and their four boys, ages 8-18. She and her husband adopted their youngest two boys through the foster care system. Lisa’s degree is in Child and Family Development and she is a strong advocate for family meal time. She is co-owner of a menu planning website, www.BuildAMenu.com, that helps families keep their grocery budget under control and bring families back to the dinner table.
What do you talk about at dinner, girlfriend?
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