With a brand new year underway, many of us are making the commitment to get back to family dinners. It's not easy, but research tells us it's good for our kids and our families. But in this crazy world of after-school sports and activities and late nights at the office, how can one family gather around the table for a healthy meal all at the same time?
It's not easy - it takes a little organization and a little commitment, but with some tips and ideas, it's entirely possible - I promise. I was recently sent an advance copy of the new book Home for Dinner by Dr. Anne Fishel, co-founder of The Family Dinner Project, and this was just the jump-start I needed to get my family back to the table and on the family dinner track.
Not only is the book full of ideas for GETTING your family to the table, it also has a great selection of recipe ideas and better yet, ideas for getting the conversation going. Because once we're all AT the table. . .there's no telling what could happen. I found the Managing Conflict section to be particularly interesting. My kids are spaced in ages, 14 and 8 . . .so finding an all-age-appropriate topic can be a challenge. Also, let's not even get into teenager moods (look for that post later in the year). Technology at the table? That's a no-no, but a 2012 study discussed in the book, found that adults use technology at the table twice as much as kids!
By far, my favorite chapter in the book is Chapter 7: Telling Stories to Promote Empathy, Self-Esteem, Resilience and Enjoyment. Maybe it's the scrapbooker in me, or this quote, "consider a family of four and their story-generating capability" RIGHT?? The book continues to give suggestions for story starters (like a conversation starter jar perhaps) for grown-ups and kids alike.
The book is available on January 7th, but here's a little preview just for you:
With all this inspiration for Menu Plan Monday, this week we are trying out two new recipes and we are shaking up a family favorite. We're also turning over a new family dinner leaf this week and returning to the dining room table for dinner. And with that plan, here's what's on the menu for this week:
Monday - Garlic Parmesan Shrimp, Caesar Salad, Rice
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday with Taco Potato Boats, Guacamole and corn
Wednesday - Broccoli Cheese Soup, Salad and Bread
Thursday - Homemade Chicken Tenders and Cutlets
Friday -Pizza Night
Saturday and Sunday - TBD
What's for dinner at your house this week?
catch you soon -
This post is linked up at I'm An Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday. Check it out for more meal planning ideas and inspiration. I received a FREE copy of Home for Dinner in order to facilitate this review. I was not compensated and as always, all opinions are my very own.