The Importance of the Family Dinner Table

Breaking Bread Together

“Dinner! Come to the table!”

Do you remember your mom hollering that very statement when you were a kid? Do you remember running down the stairs to familiar smells and rushing to take your place at the table?

A family dinner table is a place of communion, fellowship and a means of reconnecting with those we care about the most. Over a simple dinner of scrambled eggs or more elaborate family fare of meatloaf and mashed potatoes, important stuff happens. Relationships are realigned, the news of the day is exchanged, and coming events are discussed. More importantly, memories are made for both adults and children. One day, your child will look back on all those dinners around the family table with fondness. One day, you will look back wistfully, actually missing the chaos of trying to get everyone to the table while the meal was still hot!

Unfortunately, today’s family dinner table is all but missing from home. We have sacrificed our family table for all manner of activities, and way too often, our meals are situated around the blue glow of the family television. The conversation is limited to pass the salt and stony silence while the blare of TV fills the room.

Making the meals is a big issue, too. Women are busy, exhausted and overwhelmed with responsibility. Mom works hard at the job or home all day. Making menus to post on the refrigerator doesn’t happen anymore because there is “no time.” Going to the grocery store usually means going without a list and throwing much-prepackaged stuff into the cart because dinner needs to be easy and fast.

The simple practice of making a menu each week will help you provide some structure to the family dinner hour and save you a lot of money on your food budget. A simple thing like keeping a running grocery list on the fridge will help you avoid last-minute trips to the grocery store. Your family will be eating healthier, and you won’t be as stressed out because you know what’s for dinner Tuesday night. And while you might not be able to pull off a Norman Rockwell picture-perfect family dinner every night, you could probably do it at least once a week.

Menus aren’t just for restaurants. They deserve a special place of honor on every family’s fridge.

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