A Family That Eats Together Stays Together


woman, mother, girl, daughter, cooking, kitchenWe know that it can be easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to feeding our families. When you are contending with picky eaters, time constraints, and sleep deprivation, meal planning and food prep can often feel overwhelming. The BVTMB team along with our sponsor, Healthy Living, is here to provide some fresh perspective and inspiration in the kitchen! From meal ideas to how to feed those picky eaters, we are excited to talk about all things food these next few weeks in our “Growing Up Gourmet, Beyond the PB&J” series.

A Family That Eats Together Stays Together

I didn’t always blend in as a kid, being a French-Canadian in a predominately Italian-American neighborhood…we do things a little differently. We’re loud, proud and love to eat! Perhaps we’re not so different after all…but I digress! One thing we always did whenever we could was eat our meals together at the table. It’s something I value and continue today with my family.

While meal time rituals vary from culture to culture and family to family, there are a few basic guidelines that would apply to most everyone:

Meal Time Rituals

Honor the 3 T’s: no tv, toys or technology “sur la table”

This is a no brainer. We eat at the table only and turn off all distractions. We often have music on or a tea light burning for a little ambiance.

Everyone participates in meal time prep (age appropriate of course)

Getting your children involved teaches them basics of food prep and reinforces the importance of teamwork (and obviously lightens your load – put ’em to work!!) Now I realize when they’re little it’s faster and easier to just do it yourself so pick 1 or 2 nights a week to work together. Your kids will thank you later!

We say our prayer, and then dig in – but mind your manners!

The dinner table affords the perfect opportunity to teach our children how to mind their manners, something that’s um…lacking in many of  today’s young ones.

We talk!

I’m often surprised by what gets revealed at the dinner table. If we need a little conversation starter, we turn to the Family Question Jar: a mason jar filled with strips of paper that have random questions, trivia, and other oddities to get the ball rolling.

We all pitch in to clean up. There’s that free labor teamwork again.

Some nights the kids are dismissed early and my husband and I will linger at the table talking. Oh sweet reprieve!

We’ve got our meal traditions:

Friday night in our house is “Pizza Night”. We either make our own or order in and every now and again we go out. It’s a fun tradition. I make pancakes or crepes most Sunday mornings.

During hockey season, we can’t always eat our meals together but we do our best because we think it’s important family time. Meals aren’t only about the food we eat but the celebration of coming together as a family to “break bread”. I hope it’s something that my children will cherish and carry on with their own kids. And please, for the love of all that is good and holy, use a place mat or table cloth – because French-Canadians wouldn’t dream of eating without one!

woman, mother, girl, daughter, cooking, kitchen


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here