Posted by Terra's Kitchen on Fri, Dec 9, '16
The tradition of nightly or weekly family dinners is one that many of us grew up with at Terra’s Kitchen. Our CEO, Mike, founded Terra’s Kitchen because of his personal experiences with healthy, homemade meals. Knowing he was about to become a father, he wanted to continue that tradition with his own family. Not only do regular dinners contribute to many health benefits, they also help to build a fun and positive family culture.
Coordinating multiple schedules and shifting priorities can make it feel impossible to make dinner happen on a regular basis. By designing your dinner tradition realistically and with a well-defined purpose, you will be well on your way to a schedule you can stick to. Follow these four simple steps to start your own regular dinner habit with the people you love.
- Find purpose. Why do you want to do this? Your goal could be to reconnect with the people in your immediate family daily or to eat more healthy foods or to build on traditions from your heritage with your extended family on a more regular basis. Whatever your purpose and whoever you consider family, outline what you hope to get out of regular dinners so you can make sure you achieve your goal.
- Invite participation. Find ways for everyone to help and participate. Even small jobs like setting the table, choosing the music, introducing conversation topics, or decorating the table can make even the youngest helpers feel like they were a part of making dinner happen. If you are using a meal delivery kit like Terra’s Kitchen, there is little chopping that needs to be done, so children can help with certain parts of the cooking process. Teaching kids to cook has been shown to inspire healthy eating later in life, so involving them in this part of the dinner process is a huge benefit! One of our Terra’s Kitchen team members, Megan, even found that her daughters were more likely to try new foods when they helped cook dinner.
- Show up. This is the #1 rule of making family dinner work. Decide how frequently you want to have family dinner and stick to it. If you can only commit to one day a week, that’s okay! Build the tradition that works with your lifestyle. Sometimes starting slowly with a tradition that is tied to one day of the week is an good way to ease into the idea of family dinners. It is no surprise that we love celebrating Taco Tuesday, but some families prefer to commit to Sunday Supper, Friday Pizza Night or a Saturday Breakfast. One benefit of a regular or daily family dinner tradition is the security that comes with such a regular schedule. Shortcuts like a meal kit can help take some of the work associated with preparing dinner off of your plate so you can enjoy the meal without any added stress.
- Talk and eat! This is the good part, and should allow you to achieve your goal you outlined in step 1. If you are unsure about how to start the conversation, you can try having every family member tell about the high and low points of their day. By asking this question, you are allowing each person to honor both the good and the bad in their day. It is easy to celebrate the good things but even more important to support each other when things are difficult. A fun tradition that we like at Terra’s Kitchen is what we call #TableTalk. This is our way of sparking a more spontaneous conversation topic that allows every dinner guest to learn a little about the others at the table. We provide #TableTalk questions on all of our recipes to get the conversation started if you are stumped. Whatever you talk about, focus on connection (or re-connection) and keep distractions like phones or TV away from the dinnertime fun.
A meal delivery kit can make committing to a regular family dinner tradition easier. Terra’s Kitchen takes care of the tedious parts of making dinner like planning, shopping and prepping for you so you can make time for the things that matter most, connecting with the people you love. To learn more about Terra’s Kitchen and to get started, click below to view our full menu of healthy dinners.