Sitting down to the kitchen table for a week night family dinner is often unattainable. Families with school age children have to drive them to sports practices, music lessons, tutoring sessions that keep families on the go throughout the dinner hour. I am often feeding my three children their dinner at 4 o’clock on busy activity nights long before my husband is home from work. So how can we gather the whole family to share a week night meal? I don’t have an answer that works for my family but when I cook The Dinner Daily recipes I know I can get a healthy well balanced meal on the table in 30 minutes or less.
Weekend nights our schedule slows down and I love when we are all home for a family dinner. Keeping my two boys engaged in dinner conversation can be a challenge as well as teaching them to share the “airtime” and allow their sister to talk too. I introduced a family dinner tradition a few years ago that I hope you will try with your family at dinner. I discovered it after seeing Michelle Obama in an interview talking about the Rose and Thorn of your day discussion her family uses. When my family started this daily sharing of the rose, being the best moment of your day, and the thorn, being the most difficult part of your day, I discovered everyone was sharing and supporting each other during our dinner conversation. The kids, my husband and I were all sharing events about our day that otherwise would not have been discussed. Now if I forget to start the rose and thorn conversation the kids will be quick to remind me and get it started. Many studies have proved the importance of a shared family meal. The benefits include, stress reduction, improved nutrition, bonding, and builds lasting memories.
“I can talk about the importance of nutrients for good health all day. But studies show that if you want your kids to have an appreciation of how precious their bodies are, you can’t beat just sitting down together,” Dr. Oz says. This simple ritual improves not just kids’ eating habits but their grades and willingness to open up to you, too. “When families come together to eat, they create an emotional harmony that I think is pretty sacred for long-term health.” If evenings don’t work, turn breakfast into your family sit-down instead.