I grew up in the 50′s and sitting around the dinner table for breakfast and dinner with all of the family was just what we did. So, of course when I had my own family, (which by the way began shortly after I turned 19!) that is what my family did as well. I loved all the family chats and everyone’s daily adventures spilling out as we shared our food.
Most of my own children, now grown, are sharing this tradition as well with their own families. I just came upon a book recently that really addresses this important family time by Laurie David called, The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time. I loved her approach to bringing the family together for this one meaningful event each day.
Raising families in these times can be very challenging with the issues of too much technology, worrisome things such as drugs to alcohol, promiscuity, obesity, and even how well the children are doing academically Laurie approaches all of these dilemmas with the simple approach of eating and talking together around the table. It truly is a way of connecting.
Another way of helping families connect is by actually growing a garden as a family project. Just as sitting around the dinner table each night can be memorable, planting seeds and actually growing a garden filled with colorful vegetables and flowers can be a very enjoyable family time. Jamie Oliver, a British chef and author of Jamie’s Food Revolution, believes that by counterbalancing the pull of fast-food chicken nuggets and sugary drinks, children who learn to nurture a seed from sprout to maturity will build a well rounded relationship to food.
I loved this video by Laura David describing the 5 rules for dinnertime. I hope you take the time to watch it. She has some pretty powerful suggestions for making that evening meal a wonderful event.