Family Dinners in a Fast World
• This is Dr. Judy and welcome to today’s healthcast where I will be speaking to you about how you can have family dinners in our hustle, bustle world. Yes, it is possible. If you would like to re-introduce family meals into your own lifestyle but don’t know where to begin, here are some ideas.
• Include everyone in the planning process. Each family member gets to choose the menu one night per week. Of course make sure that veggies are included.
• Keep your pantry fridge and freezer stocked with easy to use staples when you time is limited, like boxed salad, frozen fruits and veggies, individually frozen chicken, ground meat patties and seafood.
• Find cookbooks with your family, either at the library or bookstore, that have recipes your children will like.
• Enlist your children in grocery shopping, gathering the ingredients for their recipes.
• Not every night needs to be family night, so start small and stick to it at least one day a week.
• Take advantage of occasions to set the table more elaborately. Any holiday, not only Christmas and Thanksgiving can be a family occasion. Valentine’s day, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, good report card day, winning team night all make for a festive, fun evening.
• You don’t have to prepare elaborate recipes most nights. Keep it simple! When you have the time is when you can experiment more.
• If you dare to venture, try recipes from different cultures, like Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Thai, etc.
• Involve the family in preparing of the meals, your child becomes an assistant that will learn by doing.
• Encourage family conversations that allow everyone to share what was special about their day. Conversely ask what might have been disappointing in their day and help them problem solve. Don’t use the dinner table for reprimanding. Keep it lively and enjoyable.
• Respect your family time by not answering the phones and turning off the TV.
• Allow your child to invite friends on occasion to share in your family meals. This concept could become contagious in your neighborhood.
• After dinner, the family needs to clean together. If it is shared, then no one will have an undue burden.
• This is Dr. Judy thanking you for listening to today’s healthcast on Family Dinners in a Fast Paced World. I encourage you to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or suggestions or visit me online at www.askdrjudy.com.