The simplest of traditions, Sunday dinner, is one that we can all figure out how to enjoy more often. There are so many benefits.
Did you grow up sitting down Sunday dinner with your family? I did! Some of the best food ever made was served. There are oodles of recipes on the site that would be a spectacular addition to the family table. How about a tater tot casserole? Everybody loves those. You know you need some bread! Our 30-minute dinner rolls give the impression that you’ve been in the kitchen all day.
Sunday Dinner Needs to Make a Comeback
I grew up with absolutely no understanding that family dinner on Sundays didn’t happen in everyone’s house. I couldn’t even have imagined how it would be possible to miss one, or why in the world anyone would want to.
Sometimes Sunday dinner was at my Grandma’s. Sometimes it was at our house. No matter where it was, those dinners have stuck with me over the years as one of my favorite memories.
The benefits of having dinner with the family.
Kids who regularly sit down and eat with their families have lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and depression, as well as higher grade-point averages and self-esteem, says Dr. Anne K. Fishel.
Dr. Fishel is a clinical psychologist, teacher, author, and family therapist. She is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Family and Couples Therapy Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. (Way to go YOU, Dr. Fishel!)
Additionally, she co-founded the non-profit initiative The Family Dinner.
She says there are studies to show that young kids have a better vocabulary when they are from a home with regular family dinners. Those conversations around the table may not seem incredibly important to you, but they sure are. Your kids are learning from the way you speak and the words you use.
Not only do these chats help kids with vocabulary, but the stories you all share together also makes them stronger emotionally.
Need more proof that sitting down with the family for Sunday dinner is smart parenting? Okay, then! Dr. Fishel also claims regular family meals lower the rates of obesity and eating disorders in children and adolescents.
It’s easy to start your own Sunday dinner tradition.
1. Family dinner doesn’t have to be on Sunday. If everyone can’t get together on a weekend, any day of the week will be fine.
2. No electronics. That includes you, Mom and Dad. If you go to all the work of carving out a day to routinely enjoy family dinners together, cell phones have no place at the table. They defeat the purpose of being present and engaged with family members. (Sorry, but the TV needs to be turned off as well.)
3. Your idea of family includes whomever you want it to include. Families come in all shapes and sizes now!
4. The Family Dinner Project has some great ideas to help create a fun get together. All sorts of games like Would You Rather all the way to Iron Chef, Family Edition are shared on the site.
In closing, don’t forget to snoop around this site for family dinner recipes everyone will absolutely fall in love with!