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The Importance of Family Dinners

March 21, 2012

When was your last family dinner? Yesterday? Last week? Can’t remember?The time families spend together around the dinner table has drastically decreased over the years. And it’s no surprise really. Our lives are getting busier and busier and there’s never enough time in the day to get everything done. On nights we do sit down for dinner together we’re almost always accompanied by our cell phones, gadgets and the jabbering of a television program in the background.We all know that eating together is important; yet we don’t do it often enough and rarely make the most out of it when we do. Research shows that frequent family dinners play an important role in our lives. Meals that are prepared and eaten at home are more efficient, less expensive and more nutritious, with more vegetables and fruit and less fat and sugar. Eating together also builds closer relationships within the family. Several studies also show that when families eat dinner together, children perform better in school, have higher self-esteem and are less likely to be overweight; and teens are less likely to experiment with drugs and have a lower likelihood of developing eating disorders.Incorporating more family dinners into your schedule and making the most out of dinnertime can be difficult, so here are a few of our tips to help get you and your family on the right track:

  • Aim for two or three family dinners per week. We’re talking home cooked meals with Glory Foods canned vegetables here!
  • Plan your meals out in advance and stock up on the items you will need at the beginning of the week.
  • Include the kids in the planning and cooking process, too. You’ll be surprised how much easier preparing dinner can be with a little added help, and dinner will be even more rewarding knowing that everyone contributed to the meal.
  • Listen up because this one’s important: Turn off all cell phones and electronics and let your answering machine answer calls during dinnertime. Block out all distractions and focus on the people and food around you!
  • Make family dinners enjoyable. Leave the serious discussions for another time. Family meals are for nourishment, comfort and support.

If you’re looking for a few quick meal ideas to get you started, try our Quick Chicken and Noodles, Vidalia Onion and Garlic Pizza or our Quick and Spicy Sweet Potato and Turnip Stew. All are delicious, nutritious and won’t take long to prepare! 

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