When I was growing up, my mother always made sure we were together for dinner. Even as we got older, and through our busy teen years, the dinner table was full – and if you were home then you would sit with the rest of the family to eat. When I got married and moved out, I tried to keep up this tradition because it was important for me. Eventually, my hubby and I fell out of this ritual because he was working late nights.
Now that my daughter is old enough to communicate with us, I felt that it was important for us to start eating at the dinner table together. I noticed that she was falling into poor eating habits lately, and I wanted to create an environment where we would all sit together to eat without the television getting in the way of communication. I usually use the tv to distract her so I can get some food in her belly – but this is not the direction I wanted my family to go. I always felt that the dinner table was the most important place to get to know the people in your family and not lose touch with them.
Yesterday I declared that we were going to eat as a family. My hubby grumbled at the thought of not having access to the big screen at the dinner table – but I insisted, and he wasn’t going to ruin this for me. I prepared pork chops, oven potatoes, and green beans and hoped my little one would actually eat her dinner and not go to bed hungry another night. This has been a huge issue for us, because she wakes up in the middle of the night hungry and will only take milk. I fixed her a big girl plate with whole wheat pasta, a pork chop, and green beans. To my amazement, she ate her beans and her pasta, leaving behind the pork chop. It’s ok – the more you expose children to foods, the better chance they will eat it. She is a good meat eater – but the panko-crusted pork chop just didn’t appeal to her this time.
While we were cleaning up the dinner table, my hubby admitted that he actually enjoyed sitting at the table again. We both agreed that it feels more like family with our toddler at the table – when we were newlyweds, we missed the comfort of many family members around us and sitting at the empty dinner table wasn’t cutting it for either of us.
Do you sit down to eat with your family?