Several years ago I read How the Irish Saved Civilization. I enjoyed how author Thomas Cahill made a case for the important role of the Irish in preserving western civilization. I believe that a similar case can be made for the family dinner. And I’m not alone in this opinion. The family dinner is a hot topic for public health folks, pediatricians, and parenting gurus as an effective tool – or proxy measure at least – of the overall health of a family. Strong families create strong and productive members of society. There is power in the family dinner.
So what’s the problem? For many of us creating the family dinner can also be a source of anxiety, frustration, guilt, joylessness, and confusion. Parents sometimes feel a sense of failure at creating the perfect family dinner day in and day out. The last thing today’s parents need is a heap of guilt! That helps no one.
In the coming weeks, I’ll explore some of the uniquely valuable contributions the family dinner makes to families and to society. I’ll also explore some of the very real challenges that creating a doable, consistent, nutritious, tasty, and calm family meal can bring.
What is the biggest challenge you face in getting a good meal on the table?