The Benefits of Family Dinners
Today’s post is courtesy of Aviva Goldfarb of the Six O’Clock Scramble.
When our kids, Solomon and Celia, were toddlers, getting them to come to the table, sit through the meal and eat what I made was a massive challenge. But even more daunting was trying to decide what to make each night with what I had in the kitchen, something everyone would eat and that wouldn’t take too much time to prepare.
Eating dinner together was something that had been incredibly meaningful for me when I was growing up, and I was determined to make family dinner a priority in our family, too. Ultimately, I came up with a system to make family dinners easier for my family and tens of thousands of other families. The simple solution was based on menu planning skills I learned from my mom, like choosing a few simple recipes on the weekend, making a grocery list and shopping just once a week. I took my mom’s system into the digital age 10 years ago with an online family dinner planning system called The Six O’Clock Scramble.
My ambitious goal is to get the majority of families in the US eating dinner together at least a few times a week. But why is it so important?
The Benefits of Family Dinners
Recent studies have shown that when families eat dinner together more often:
- Kids maintain a healthier weight
- Families have healthier eating habits, including consuming more vegetables
- Kids and teens have closer relationships with their parents
- Teens are less likely to engage in risky behaviors (like drinking, drugs and sexual activity)
All this from something as simple as eating dinners together, even a few times each week!
Family Dinner Challenge
If getting your family sitting down together for dinner is something you think is important, even if you struggle with the logistics, I hope you’ll join thousands of other families and me in taking the Family Dinner Challenge.
Between now and the end of September, my goal is to get at least 10,000 families to commit to eating dinner together at least three times a week for four weeks. We are giving each of the people who take the challenge all the tools they need, including weekly menus, healthy family-friendly dinner recipes, grocery lists, and more to make the challenge a success for their families. Our hope is that they are so inspired by the positive changes that take place in their homes during the challenge that they will continue making healthy family dinners a priority in their busy lives.
Take the Challenge today, and bring your family together tonight at the dinner table.
Aviva Goldfarb is a Family Dinner Expert and founder and CEO of the family dinner planning site, the Six O’Clock Scramble. Aviva is author of 3 cookbooks including her most recent, “SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue: Earth Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Meals for Busy Families”, which was named one of the best cookbooks of 2010 by the Washington Post. Aviva is a recent and upcoming Today Show guest and is frequently featured in national parenting, lifestyle and health magazines and TV and radio shows.
See Aviva talking about the importance of family dinners with Katie Couric:
- Family Dinners: The Top 10 Things You’ll Learn During Family Dinners
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Eating Dinner as a Family
- Bright Horizons Online Community: Getting Your Child to Eat Dinner
- E-family news: Batter Up — Cooking with Children
- Read more posts about cooking and posts about dinner from the Family Room bloggers