The Importance of the Dinner Table

Growing up one my most fond memories is coming home from a long day of school & after school activities to the family dinner table. This was a place to share my day. The dinner table was always a place to relax, feel safe, and share a meal with the people I felt most comfortable with. Not only did this time at the dinner table provide an outlet to discuss what was going on in my life, but also helped me develop a healthy relationship with food.

Times have changed. We live in a world where fast pace is the only pace! Making time to eat & eat healthfully is a challenge in itself. However, that doesn’t mean that kids still don’t need that place of safety, comfort, & community. Many studies have shown that taking the time to have regular family dinners has lead to lower rates of substance abuse & depression, as well as higher grade-point averages & self-esteem. Studies have also shown that regular family meals have lead to lower rates of obesity & eating disorders in children and adolescents. Taking one hour out of the day to sit around the table can make such a large impact in a child's life.

So in this fast paced world how do we find time? What a great question! One great way is to prepare. On Sunday make a large batch of chili, soup, or a casserole. You can freeze all of these items and defrost as needed. Also, make family dinner a special event! Put it on the family calendar, talk about the day before, remind your kids before they go to school. The more you talk about it & say it out loud the more likely it is to happen!

As we come to the end of this week I challenge you to sit around the dinner table 2 times next week. Maybe you have to put the laundry off for another hour or two, but it will be so worth it!

 

Looking for a Sunday soup?! Check out the recipe below.

Tomato Basil Soup

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

- 1 tsp Olive Oil

- 1 Medium Onion Chopped

- 3 large Garlic Cloves, Chopped

- 7 Cups of Chopped Fresh Tomatoes

- 1 handful of Basil

- 2 tsp Salt

- 1 tsp Pepper

Directions:

Heat pan over medium heat & add oil. When the pan gets hot add the onions & garlic. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the chopped tomatoes. Continue to cook over a medium heat, stirring every few minutes until the tomatoes are soft & start breaking down. Remove from the heat and add basil, salt, & pepper. Use a blender to blend until smooth.