In our very busy lives, it can be difficult to find the time to cook let alone eating dinner as a family. It is much easier to grab a donut for breakfast or pickup a pizza on the way home for dinner. How many times have you had to rush out the door and found yourself without lunch? Fortunately, there are many new restaurants that provides healthy options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Recently, I had a friend take me out for lunch. We wanted to grab a healthy meal, so we ordered a green salad from a local salad bar which is suppose to be fresh. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending how you see it) as we were getting ready to eat our salads, we found a LARGE dead bug in the salad. Needless to say we didn’t have any lunch that day…
The night after this incidence, I began thinking about eating out versus cooking at home. Personally, I prefer and I try my best not to eat out. My kids and I rarely go out for dinner. We try to make our own meals and eat as a family. As I was sitting to eat I came up with 5 benefits of eating dinner as a family:
- Clean Food. Hands down this is something nobody can deny. Food is a lot cleaner when you make it yourself. Especially when making a salad. Lettuce is notorious for having insects in it. When you can make it at home wash everything carefully and make sure there is no extra unwanted protein in your salad.
- Communication. Between computers, iPads, iPhones, and Xbox, it is becoming rare to have quality time as a family. Kids now-a- days either eat while “plugged-in” or they eat as fast as they can so they can get back to being “plugged-in”. It is really hard to get everyone to eat together every night. However, I think it is important that we try to find the time. Family dinner can help bond the family. It is a great time to talk about current events in each others life and relax from our high pace daily routines.
- Table Manners. A great bonus benefit of eating together is simply manners. You wouldn’t believe how many times I hear that kids (and even some adults) do not have table side manners these days. It’s like a pie eating contest.
- Night-Out In. It can be fun to dress up, invite some friends over and have some food and drinks. Take the time to have a formal dinner at least twice a month. We have been having Friday night dinner for a few years now and it is great. Dress up. Cook something special. Get special drinks and desert. Set the table nicely and have a 3-4 course meal over 2-3 hours. Take your time and enjoy your food. It is a great experience. I guarantee after a couple of times, the whole family will look forward to it.
- Learn to Cook. Eating food at home means yo have to learn to cook. There is no healthier alternative to your own cooking. Trust me, everyone can learn how to cook. Better yet, get everyone involved in preparing and cooking, even the kids. It will not only teach them good life skills, but also encourage healthy habits that will stick with them for life.
What do you think? Are your family dinners as exciting to you as mine are to me? Let me know by leaving a comment below.