March 26, 2015

Boys Town Inspires Family Meals at the Table

Boys Town Inspires Family Meals at the Table
“Family meals #AtTheTable are important. One of our bloggers shares what it means to her.”

That sentence (a tweet posted by Boys Town, see below) caught my eye last evening as I scrolled through my Twitter feed. It had the words “family meals” along with the hashtag #AtTheTable. How could it not catch my attention? 😉

Given my curious nature, I clicked the link and discovered some excellent resources that not only help families make family meals a priority, but also help families to get the most out of their time together around the table.

I want to share with you here what I discovered.

The link sent me directly to a blog post written by a Boys Town Contributor, the Mother of a six-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son.

Here’s the gist of her post:

Tonight — and every other night — I am committed to having dinner together with my family. Because my kids are still young, I am lucky that their extracurricular activities are minimal and I can schedule them around family dinners; but, I know that won’t last forever. I know family dinnertime can be challenging when sports, music lessons, scouts and other activities start to fill the early evening. But it’s important to make family dinners a priority. They allow us time to hear about each other’s day, give thanks for the good things in our lives and spend quality time together. I cherish these moments and I will continue to make sure my children understand the importance of family mealtime.

Isn’t that awesome?

If you have been around for a while, or if you have listened to The Catholic Foodie Podcast or the Around the Table Food Show (or read my book Around the Table with The Catholic Foodie: Middle Eastern Cuisine), then you know that The Catholic Foodie is all about inspiring and encouraging families to get in the kitchen and to gather around the table.

Not only did I find encouraging blog posts on Boys Town’s Teachable Moments blog, but I also discovered other resources to help families at the table, including a Guide to Parenting at the Table.

The guide offers reasons for the importance of family meals, tips on getting the conversation started once you have everyone around the table, and suggestions on how to handles certain sticky situations… like picky eaters.

But that’s not it. There’s more.

More tips and advice on conversing – really relating – around the table.

There are also videos, highlighting the importance of family meals, like this one:

#AtTheTable – So What’s It All About?

According to a recent Harris Poll survey, 82 percent of parents of children under the age of 18 in the household say that they wished they had more meals together as a family. And the number-one reason cited for not eating together? You guessed it – “we’re just too busy.” So to promote family dinnertime and all the benefits that go with it, Boys Town has introduced At the Table, a challenge to America’s families to make the time to eat together.

Studies show that eating dinner together as a family can provide numerous benefits for children, including higher self-esteem and better communication with their parents. This is because eating together offers families a time to talk, promoting closeness, trust and comfort. But dinnertime needs to become a regular habit in order to sustain those benefits. And that means getting them used to it early on.

Click here for tips and advice developed by the parenting experts at Boys Town on how you can get your family to eat, laugh and grow together more often.

Make sure you check out this great resource. Here are a few of my favorite articles:

Other Resources for Family Meals?

What about you? Do you have a favorite resource that encourages family meals? Or do you have good ideas on how to get the conversation going around the family table? Please comment below and share your good ideas!