I've always believed that food is love and sharing a meal together is a wonderful bonding experience. In the less hectic past, family dinners were the norm. However, with the demands of current work schedules, commutes and outside activities, getting everyone together at one time for a family meal is more challenging.
It's challenging but not impossible. Having everyone together every night may not be realistic but making an effort to commit to a couple of nights per week for a family dinner can be done with a little planning.
Family dinners are healthier, less costly than eating out and encourage kids to eat more fresh vegetables and try new foods.
It's an opportunity to learn the art of conversation with adults and good table manners. Our children, who are our future leaders, will need to know how to hold a fork, cut their food and engage in conversation when they get invited to those "power lunches".
Being together as a family in a casual and caring setting gives everyone an opportunity to talk with each other and share feelings, difficulties or viewpoints in an easy comfortable way.
Make it fun – take turns cooking together, planning the meals and decide to try at least one new recipe or food every week. My granddaughters love making meals with me. This may only involve putting something in a bowl or getting out the napkins but they are helping and they feel included and that's all that matters.
Don't diminish the efforts and pride that went into preparing this delicious meal by using paper plates. Set the table with real dishes and napkins. Most importantly take the time to enjoy the food and each other.