The Importance of Family Dinners

One of the hardest parts of our deployment was the lack of family dinners. Most evenings it was every mom and child for themselves to figure out what was for dinner.

On my priority list dinner fell to the bottom. If I had to do it again, I would have let a lot of other things slide and put family dinners back at the top of my list during deployment.

For most of our life, we’ve eaten dinner together. We usually eat breakfast and lunch together (the kids and I) but that’s another story. It is the one time during the day when we are all together and everyone gets a chance to share their stories from the day.

This also allows some of my kids who don’t usually get along (yes I have a few of those too!) to sit with each other and get to know each other better.

If family dinners are not a priority in your house, I cannot stress how important it is to reconsider it!

First it allows the family to spend uninterrupted time together. That should be reason enough. But if you need to persuaded, here are a few other thoughts.

Family dinners are healthier. Even if the kids help make dinner, you can control portions and monitor eating habits. When everyone is on their own I have no idea if my kids are even coming close to getting the foods they need to grow strong and healthy.

Family dinners are a great time to try out new foods. Generally, when left to themselves for meals, kids will pick the easiest, quickest option. In my house that means snack foods or cereal. These aren’t bad foods, but if they aren’t balanced out by fruits and vegetables this can be a problem.

Want your kids to get better grades? According to a report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse only 9% of kids who eat dinner regularly with their family receive “C” grades or lower on their report card. This is compared to 20% of children who eat dinner with their family less than three times a week.

Family dinners build relationships. Sometimes dinnertime is the only time to talk to your children without the interruption of homework, activities, friends, and electronics.

I realize that getting dinner on the table can be overwhelming to many people. I didn’t full understand this until the deployment, but now I get it. What I had to get over was that family dinners do not have to be a big production.

One of my favorite fast meals is spaghetti and meatballs. We always have pasta noodles, and Ragú® in the pantry, and meatballs in the freezer. This meal comes together in about 30 minutes and everyone in the family loves it!

Each jar of Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce is made with 11 juicy tomatoes making it its richest, thickest recipe, and it is the only sauce my kids will eat. I stock up when it goes on sale and use it on pasta, pizza, for dips, and sandwiches. If you need recipe ideas visit Ragú on Facebook.

You can enter to win a trip to Itay and lots of other fabulous prizes when you vote for your favorite bloggers’ recipes. I saw some of my favorite bloggers competing this week, so head over and vote and win!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragú® Official New Tra-Dish. The opinions and text are all mine.

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