The Benefits of Family Meals {and a Giveaway!}

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Derivative of “Day 17|Saying Grace” by Mayr, used by CCBY

Today’s society is all about being as busy as humanly possible.  There are activities, events, games, fundraisers, parties, playdates, and more.  The list grows more than unreasonably long and families end up rushing around from one thing to the next, barely seeing each other, never mind actually spending good quality time together.  It’s a pace that can’t be continued forever without there being an episode or two of massive burnout.

While participating in extracurriculars and other things isn’t bad, overloading yourself and  your family, in my opinion, is very much detrimental to the well being of your household.  If you barely know those children that you are chauffering around from venue to venue, then how will you be able to truly enjoy them?

This is why we have a strict policy in our home that no matter what is on the agenda for the day, we will gather around our table together for at least one meal per day. Most of the time, the children and I are together for virtually every meal and my husband is with us for two out of three. It is extremely important to me that we uphold this tradition in order to maintain the connectedness of our little familial unit. There are many reasons for you to also make this a habit in your family too!

1. You’ll be healthier.
Home cooked and prepared from scratch meals are typically much healthier than store bough prepackaged food.  Fresh ingredients, including vegetables or fruit, are more likely to be incorporated and you will be avoiding many of the added fillers and sugars that are present in most convenience foods.

2. You’re more likely to be “in the know.”
If your family is sitting around together, without the distraction of electronics, then you will have an open forum for conversations on all sorts of topics.  Talking regularly with your children will help them feel more secure in coming to you when they really need to get something off their chests.

Enter to win an All-Clad Cookware set and $5 Dinners Cookbook Gift Basket for Inspired Family Dinners with Favado3.  Your children will know that they are important.
Even though it might not be obvious, those little ones of yours will notice if Mommy and Daddy purposely stop their hectic schedules and slow down just to spend time with them.  This is vital for children (and spouses!) in order to help maintain healthy relationships. Studies show that children who eat regularly with their families are less likely to do drugs, drink alcohol, and deal with depression.

4.  Your children will learn manners.
Well, this one depends a little on your own manners as well.  Assuming that you are a reasonably polite person (and I bet you are!), your children will earn through example and with readily available instruction in how to properly behave at a dining table. After all, we don’t want to raise a bunch of hooligans who chew with their mouths open! (*cough* We’re still working on that one. *cough*)

5. You will save money.
Menu planning and home cooked meals are nearly always cheaper than restaurants or take out.  If you are particularly creative with leftovers, your dollar can be stretched even further.

Convinced yet?

To encourage you to maintain or begin having family meals together, I’m partnering with a friend, Michelle Auton, who is a Pampered Chef consultant.  As part of the Inspired Family Dinners campaign, I’m participating in a giveaway link up that centers around the theme of families eating dinner together.  Michelle has generously offered up to one of my readers a Stoneware Small Ridged Baker to help you prepare your own family meal!

From the website:
Loves the oven and gets rave reviews in the microwave! Ridges raise foods to keep them out of fats, juices and water. Steam veggies, say bye-bye to greasy bacon, bake tender chicken breasts and juicy roasts, and more! Fits most microwaves and toaster ovens. 9″ x 6¾”. Includes Pan Scraper for cleaning.

About Stoneware:

  • No preheating — just place food on Stoneware and cook. (Dense frozen foods like meat should be thawed first.)
  • Absorbs and retains heat for even baking and golden crusts.
  • Draws moisture away from food so it cooks light and crispy.
  • Virtually nonporous, so it doesn’t retain oils, odors or flavors.
  • Microwave-, freezer-, conventional and convection oven-safe.
  • Nonstick “seasoning” builds up with every use: the darker it looks, the better it cooks!”

This baker has a $30 value and is waiting for YOU to win it and make something delicious!  To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!  U.S. Residents only.

Make sure you also check out the details of the Inspired Family Dinner campaign and enter to win an All-Clad Cookware set and a $5 Dinners cookbook gift basket (valued at over $800!!).  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Do you have early elementary or preschool aged children? Then come fellowship with other Christian homeschoolers in my new FB group! Click the image to join.
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Dusty is a stay at home, homeschooling mother of four and has been married to the love of her life, a Southern gentleman, for 8 years. She is trying to find her own path in this great wide world while devouring chocolate and leaning on the Lord.

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Comments

  1. I like having family meals because I find that they lead to more family activities in the evening instead of watching television, etc.

  2. I like having family meals for many reasons. Even though we homeschool and I’m with my 5 kids all day sometimes it seems as though we still don’t get time to just chat. Dinner is a great time to do that. My husband also works 14 hours a day by planning dinner when he is home, he gets to see all the kids and talk to them. Sometimes that’s the only chance he gets that day.

  3. I love hearing about everyones day.

  4. I love having family meals because I love having some uninterrupted time with my family to talk about our day.

  5. I love having family meals so we can all come together.

  6. We’ve done family meals for as soon as my son started eating table foods with us. I love it because I feel like that’s when we connect the most. Now my husband works nights, so he wakes up to eat with us, it ends our day nicely and starts his out well.

  7. we always have family meals at the table. I think it bonds us as a family. I love that we stop our hectic lives and sit together and talk about our day.

  8. Love just being all together and having the chance for dialogue and conversations that otherwise wouldn’t happen. It’s also a good time for learning manners. :-)

  9. I just enjoy being together and talking with everyone.

  10. We eat meals together and have a chance to connect each day.

  11. I love sharing and preparing meals with my husband and boys. The ridged baker would make a great addition to our stoneware.

  12. I love having family dinners so we get a chance every day to just sit and talk about our days and things on our mind. Also, I love that no electronics are present :)

  13. I love having family meals because it’s the great time for us to discuss anything we like, especially enjoy the food together!
    Thank You

    Fiona N

  14. I grew up with my mom selling and we had so much pampered chef I took it for granted until I had my own house. Now I want all of it for myself!

  15. Its quality time that we miss out on during the day, for the reason alone

  16. i like sharing stories about our day. (:

  17. I love having family dinners at the table because thats how we ate while I was growing up. I also like it because the kids are not distracted and will tell me more about their day.

  18. My family is on different schedules but when we do get time to sit down and eat together at the same time, it is usually a time to catch up on what is happening in each others lives. :-)

  19. We have crazy schedules, but we still find it important to try to eat together at least once a day. Sometimes it is breakfast and sometimes dinner. On a good day – both!

  20. It’s healthier and is easier to customize to dietary restrictions. And saves us money as well. Thanks for the chance to win :)

  21. We can laugh together and share our day with dad.

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