Monday, October 4, 2010

Why I do What I do

I am not sure if I posted before why I feel the way that I do about family dinners but there are a few factors involved.

1. This was how my husband and myself were raised. We both had parents that worked (mine had a double income home) and some how both our moms found a way to make dinner every night, and we all as a family sat at the table ate, and discussed our day. I never knew any different. It wasn't until I became a teacher that I realized that this isn't the norm anymore.
2. As a teacher to middle school students I have conversations, very candid conversations, all the time about how they wish they could talk more with their parents. Wished that their mom cooked them dinners. That they wished they had family game night. I know right? Shocked? I have so many kids tell me that at home all they do is yell at each other, and this consists of the communication skills they are building at home? What is wrong with this picture? It is such a simple thing to fix a meal and to more importantly all take the time to sit down and eat together and discuss your day.
3. The facts and statistics are out there to support it.
Evidence links family dinners to healthier life choices:

  • Research from Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse suggests that kids who eat family dinners get better grades in school, develop communication skills and are less likely to try drugs.
  • The American Dietetic Association found women who cook regularly consume a more nutritious diet than those that eat out often.
  • Pediatrics found kids who ate dinner with their family regularly were less likely to be obese. (Facts taken from healthymonday.org) 
Need more reasons? It makes me feel good to fix a meal my family enjoys. It makes me proud when my daycare provider says my daughter is such a  good eater. I love that she loves Chinese, Thai and Japanese. I love that she loves Mexican, and will eat fish when even her mom can't eat it :-). That I have a two year old that will eat most things I put in front of her (and even if she doesn't like them right away she will try them). I couldn't say those things if I didn't make the small effort that I have since she has been eating solids.

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