The Importance of Family Meal-Time

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Eating together as a family has begun to be a thing of the past for many families.  Actually sitting at the table for a meal is even more rare.

I grew up with parents as educators.  Education is a great field of study, but one of the things that tends to happen with educators is that they invest so much of their lives with other people's children that when they come home, they're just simply tired.  The irony is that educators have been taught and even teach others about the importance of family time; how creating the right ambiance during meals can aide in proper digestion; how positive dialogue during meal times between family members helps to create a bond that extends beyond the home; or the correlation between family meal times and student achievement and performance.

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Due to the daily demands of the career and my parents taking turns going to graduate school, during my elementary school years, we ate a lot of t.v. dinners and Hamburger Helper (which I can no longer stand).  In general, on those non-school nights, we ate whenever dinner was finished being prepared which was often at or around 8:00 p.m.  Most of those meals were eaten on the couch, with the t.v. on, surrounded by papers - whether they be ones to be graded or homework.  It was abnormally normal.  We were still honor roll kids, but this setup probably was not ideal, right?

However, there were a couple of things that were consistent during my childhood, in spite of those awkward "my parents are full time working and in grad school" days, (1) most of our food was home-cooked [with the exception of those grad-school nights, my Mom made it a point for us not to grow up on sandwiches and fast food] and (2) Sunday dinners were eaten together.  Period.

As an educator myself, I see how easy it is to fall into that same cycle at meal-time.  In order to create that balance of having good food quickly, a routine has to be established that works for your time constraints and home.  Yes, even if your home consists of one person.  For me, especially during the fall and winter months, the crock pot is my best friend.  Weekly planned meals are essential.  Organization is imperative.  When I don't do those things, I fall into bad habits with ease.  Habits that I do not wish to bring into a family routine if I'm blessed to have one one day.

Below are a few recipes that make me think of family meal-time.  Maybe one of these will work for you.

{One Pot Wonder - Tomato Basil Pasta}
{Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans}

So, do you have a family meal-time routine?  What's it like in your house?  Inquiring minds want to know.  :-)

{Blog Series:  August 19-August 23, 2013)

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  1. Sweet post! I live alone so every meal is family meal! :)

  2. We eat every dinner at the table, tv off, around 5 or 6pm give or take. No excuses. It's the best family time ever with everyone talking and laughing with each other. :)

  3. I love to spend quality time with family.
    Laughing, arguing, advising,eating, playing and praying all are my favorites that we always do. :) Glad to know that you always enjoy it. My parents are educator too and me, I love educating people and so I know how it feels at home.

    Anyway, I'm blessed to read all your family posts on this blog.
    Thanks for sharing,

  4. Growing up we always at dinner in the kitchen as a family, with no TV. On Sundays after church my mom would always make some sort of soup and have an arrangement of cheeses and we would, as a family watch formula 1. I would live to follow in my parents footsteps once I have a husband and children :)

  5. my husband and I grew up very different when we talk about family meals. His family meals consisted in eat what you can find, when you are hungry and choose which tv you want to look at. Not that he liked that, but that's all he knew. My family meals where eat EVERY meal with your family, even if breakfast was before 7, lunch usually around 2pm and dinner at 8pm. I am a strong believer in family meals. It builds the family, it's the bond and glue. To this day I talk to my parents and (married) brothers daily. My husband talks to his parents maybe once or twice a month (if he calls them) and talks to his siblings...oh wait...never. Still we see them at holidays and we get along great, but I guess they see no need to actually talk to each other between Christmases :)

  6. Having diner with the family is for me the most important moment of the day...

  7. My husband and I have dinner together every night. Most nights at the table or on the balcony with the t.v. off but, with nice music playing. One thing that is always on the table is candles. We've been lighting up the candles at dinner time since before we were married. We've been together for 5 1/2 yrs. and married for four. It's nice to share a candlelight dinner every night with my husband.

  8. Since I live alone my meals are a bit lonely these days. However growing up I did fend for myself with dinner since my parents worked. But like your mom, Sunday dinner as a family was a must! I do look forward to the future with Jim and being able to sit down each night together for a meal.

  9. Great post, sweet friend! My husband, son, and I always eat at the table and 97% of the time it's a good home-cooked meal :) We like to play a board game while we eat and it's always a blessing to spend time together. Have a lovely day. Hugs!


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