The B4FD Project features blog posts from guest writers that explore the far-reaching benefits of family dinner.

Family Dinner Month 2012: Sept 17 -- Oct 29, 2012


A Resolution to Reclaim Dinner….


Time at the Table

by Billy Mawhiney

It is that time of year where we realize as we put on our pants, that they are a little more snug due to the holiday party platters, and we refocus on the gym (at least for a few weeks), or quit the nicotine habit, or [insert vice here]. The time when we say “This year’s going to be different!” Time at the Table wants to help. You can even call us an enabler if you would like!

We see grim stories posted on the media outlets of the disconnect and struggles families go through. Difficult economic times are something everyone is still facing daily, although recent slight upswings have been welcome. We believe in connecting the fantasy world we want to live in (where everyone eats dinner together and the world pauses for 40 minutes around that 7:00 pm time frame) with reality. Time at the Table will focus on two priorities in 2012:


Studies show that 1 in 4 meals are eaten in a vehicle.


Average meal cost of eating out is $8.50 per person vs. $4.50 per person at home.

It is our pledge to you to provide resources and information focusing on these principles. While you begin to refocus and organize your household as 2012 begins, we challenge you to add and prioritize the family dinner into the equation. It won’t be easy all the time. We guarantee lots of success (and failures) but assure you if you keep trying in 2 months, 6 months or even one year from now things will look differently from your side of the table.

 Take the pledge today and commit your family! 


Billy Mawhiney, Founder of  Time at the Table, a nonprofit organization simplistic at heart. We focus on reconnecting families around the dinner table through our workshop’s four main ingredients: Meal Management, Creating Conversations, Table Time, and Building Self-Sustainable families. In addition, we offer a variety of free family services targeted to support families enhancing their own dinner table experience.







8 comments to A Resolution to Reclaim Dinner….

  • I love cooking, and love Holiday eating, but didn’t notice any extra pounds or tight pants. I think that if we eat in a tuned-in way, with permission, without shame, it’s possible to enjoy all foods and enjoy stable weight. I guess I just would challenge the assumption that Holidays have to lead to out of control eating and extra pounds :) I look forward to checking out your resources to help families enjoy family meals together.

  • Katja:

    Thanks for your comment and you are absolutely right. We hope we didn’t offend anyone it was just a little satire. A great topic for later conversation: “eating healthy when it’s not easy.” Our hope is simply that these family dinner conversations continue all throughout the year!


  • http://fullplatecookinglessons.blogspot.com/2012/01/2012-resolution-2-family-dinner-at-set.html

    it takes organization, and clear communication to all family members about getting work, homework and playtime wrapped up in time to sit down together, but so far this has been a successful, and very special, part of the new year

  • Thanks for your comment Katja! I agree and try to do that with both myself and my family, feeling that family dinner really sets the tone. But, for many, it is the time of year to reflect and set new goals, whether out of tradition or just snug pants!

  • Eila – it takes a village….and a lot more really, but so happy to see people committed out there! Keep it up!

  • Hi, Although we are from the UK we have always sat at a table for atleast 1 meal a day. Even when I lived by myself! I all my 54 years I have never missed, touching base and sharing food! It is the stuff that binds.
    Funny, al ways end up talking about sex or something equally delicate, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world

  • I am determined to become a family who sits down t diner regularly. The New Year started with us all having fevers and stomach bugs so we have not been as successful as I would have liked. I do think of every day as a fresh start…so maybe tomorrow we will begin!

  • Ben

    I love this idea and I most certainly take the pledge! The far-reaching impact of meaningful family dinner time is under-estimated by so many. I’m a big believer in fun, unique family activities to keep the family engaged and active, and one idea I really enjoy is cooking with my kid. Specifically, I’ve had great success with Cooking the Best Fill-in-the-Blank Ever (i.e. grilled cheese, PB&J). Also very fun to make your kid the food critic/judge or to finish with a blind taste test. Thanks for pledge idea! Cheers!