Family Meals

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Recently, I picked up one of my favorite free Charleston mags, Moms in the Know. You can check on the April issue, here. On page 13 is a great article about eating meals as a family.


Eating meals as a family.

Can't you just feel the pressure?

But it's true - it is a wonderful thing. It was a priority in my house growing up, and I know we reaped the benefits. I remember one particular weeknight dinner, when as a teenager, I decided I was offended about something. I jumped up and ran away from the table a la Vanessa from The Cosby Show. My Dad came up to my room and informed me, "This is not The Cosby Show." I had to come back downstairs, apologize, and finish my dinner. So, lesson learned.

We have made family meals a priority in our house, even though the initial idea of it was quite stressful for me. How could I possibly coordinate an adult meal and a toddler meal? I started with breakfast. Cereal, fruit, oatmeal - something quick and easy. It helps tremendously that I'm not rushing off to work in the morning. I can't imagine sitting down if I had to do that. Since we are almost always all together in the morning, that has become our focus time. I got the boys a daily devotional book for preschoolers, and the readings are good for all four of us.

Dinner is a bit trickier, but Hubby gave me some good advice. "Growing up, dinner was always at 6 o'clock. You knew that if you wanted to eat, you needed to be home then."

So at our house, dinner is at six o'clock. Last night, Hubby was not home in time, so it was just me and the little ones. Sure, it can be boring and frustrating to sit there with the kiddos, but I feel like it is important. Big Guy got really silly, spilled his milk, and was generally a pill. . . but then he said, "Mama, I sorry I being naughty. I be good now." Lesson learned? Who knows. But at least we were there together, talking, and working it out.

And yes, we all eat the same thing - adults, a 3 year old, and an 18 month old. I decided long ago not to be short order cook. Occasionally, the kids refuse to eat whatever I've prepared, but usually they will at least eat part of it. Applesauce fills in the gaps. I don't know if this is the right way or the wrong way to do things - this is just how we do it.

So I'm curious, do you eat meals as a family? And if so, how do you make it happen?


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5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Family Meals”

  1. Yes, a family meal is a priority in our house, too. I, more than Jimmy, grew up with a nightly family meal, Friday nights usually consisted of pizza and we had a Sunday lunch out after church. I am trying to do the same, but I have to admit, it can be hard. Before my reduced work hours, I was lucky to be home by 6. Jimmy did most of the cooking and we found ourselves eating in front of the tv after Betsy went to sleep. Now, we try to have sit down meals three times a week. We say our blessings. We talk about our day. The adults maybe have a glass of wine. James has some puffs. It also saves money as we plan our meals. Betsy is learning table manners and hopefully, she is enjoying family time. I cherish these 20 minutes!

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  2. We eat supper together every night. I often wonder how long we will be able to maintain this once children enter school and extra activities become intrusive, but I have intentions of being firm - we must eat together most of the time! And I have never fixed my kids (4 and 2) different food, either. Certainly they won't starve if they reject the stir-fry. I always offer fruit.
    So glad I discovered your blog!

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  3. Hi Courtney! Loved your post...we always eat dinner together...every night even if it's frozen pizza. It's a time for everyone to reflect on their day and air any questions, etc. I ask my boys every day when they come home from school how their day was and I always get the generic, "Good." But, without fail, stories come out at dinner time and they talk about their day. I think it just gives them a sense of security. And my boys eat whatever I am fixing that night for dinner. If they don't like it, they go to bed hungry. That has only happened once before they realized they should eat what is on the table!:)

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  4. Hey Courtney! As a child, family dinner was top priority even on Friday nights when we were in high school. We could eat our dinner and head to the football game, but we had to participate in family dinner. It was so annoying at the time, but now I appreciate the lessons, the family time, etc. as an adult. My husband & I would like for our children to experience something similiar. Unfortunately husband does lots of traveling, so there is a lot of just myself and Madeline at the table. I can totally relate to the meals with just Mama and the kiddos, and it gets old, but I know it's important to be consistant. We do breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a family even if that family is just myself with my daughter. When my husband is able to join us, he does. Madeline eats whatever I fix, and like someone above mentioned, if she refuses it, well, she's hungry. Even my dr. supported me in my not becoming a short order cook...he told me, "You are not starving your child unless you are purposely witholding food from her. You are offering her an acceptable meal. It's her choice to eat it or not." I repeat that over and over when Madeline refuses a meal, and I don't give into fixing her something special. Obviously by my lengthy comment, you touched on something I strongly believe in, and I'm very blessed to be a stay at home mom to make eating as a family less stressful on me. I don't know how working moms do it all! :)

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  5. Hey Courtney! As a child, family dinner was top priority even on Friday nights when we were in high school. We could eat our dinner and head to the football game, but we had to participate in family dinner. It was so annoying at the time, but now I appreciate the lessons, the family time, etc. as an adult. My husband & I would like for our children to experience something similiar. Unfortunately husband does lots of traveling, so there is a lot of just myself and Madeline at the table. I can totally relate to the meals with just Mama and the kiddos, and it gets old, but I know it's important to be consistant. We do breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a family even if that family is just myself with my daughter. When my husband is able to join us, he does. Madeline eats whatever I fix, and like someone above mentioned, if she refuses it, well, she's hungry. Even my dr. supported me in my not becoming a short order cook...he told me, "You are not starving your child unless you are purposely witholding food from her. You are offering her an acceptable meal. It's her choice to eat it or not." I repeat that over and over when Madeline refuses a meal, and I don't give into fixing her something special. Obviously by my lengthy comment, you touched on something I strongly believe in, and I'm very blessed to be a stay at home mom to make eating as a family less stressful on me. I don't know how working moms do it all! :)

    ReplyDelete