Kids who eat dinner regularly with their families also eat more
nutritiously, do better in school and have fewer emotional problems. There is no downside.
The recipe for keeping your kids away from drugs and alcohol and keeping them emotionally healthy just may be found at your dinner table. The more frequently kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to use drugs, alcohol and tobacco, according to research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.
While there's an annual Family Day, A Day to Eat Dinner With Your Children, in September every year, this national effort sponsored by CASA to promote the family dinner applies everyday. Even though our lives are busier than ever, the time-honored ritual of gathering around the table to enjoy a meal at the end of the day still matters — a lot.
Bringing your family back to the dinner table doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing a complicated meal. Family meals are about spending quality time together at the end of the day enjoying the conversation and laughter that go hand in hand with sharing a meal. And you don’t have to sacrifice nutrition or flavor just because you’re busy – easy meals can be healthy and delicious.
Get the family involved! Everyone can play a role in providing input to the menu planning…setting the table…deciding on creative “games” to stimulate conversation. Whether you’re a whiz in the kitchen or you can’t boil water, we can help solve the dinner dilemma so that family meals become a regular feature of your daily routine.
What You Can Do…As a Family.
- Start the pattern of family dinners when children are young.
- Encourage your children to create menu ideas and participate in meal preparation.
- Turn off the TV and let your answering machine answer calls during dinnertime.
- Talk about what happened in everyone's day: school, work, extracurricular activities or current events.
- After dinner play a board game or serve dessert to encourage the family to continue the conversation.
- Keep conversation positive and make sure everyone gets a chance to speak.
It is all about spending time with your children. Read to them. Eat dinner with them —you are simply going to know each other better. Kids from hands-on families are at lower risk for smoking, drinking or using illegal drugs.
FamilyTime has over 10,000 recipes for you to choose from- most are trusted recipes from some of America’s best brands. We hope you’ll try one of our recipes or meal ideas to help make every day family day in your home. If you’d like to learn more about Family Day visit www.CASAFamilyDay.org.