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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

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A Table Tradition

On the outside, the idea of Time at the Table began as I was cleaning up from a dinner party.

Kitchen Kids - Time at the Table

Reflecting on the evening as a whole: the great conversations, the great food, and simply, the fact that we didn’t need TV’s and computers to

entertain us. The idea that we can learn and converse with one another using food as the bind is an awesome adventure. The fact is that this idea for Time at the Table was sparked much earlier.

I was fortunate to grow up in a home where family dinner was a more than a priority, it was “the way of life.” I have fond memories of a pot roasts and mashed potatoes walking into my grandparents home after church on a Sunday afternoon, or watching morning cartoons while my mother had coffee every morning with her parents before she headed off to work for the day. The idea of centering my home around the dinner table and not the television is something I hold tight to. I went as extreme as installing  a fold-away table when my apartment didn’t have the room for anything else. The first big purchase after buying our current home was an old farm table that holds life’s conversations of our friends and family. As much as the dinner table has evolved in my life, so has Time at the Table.

My dinner table today

As we enter our third year this coming Spring, we have a stronger focus and specific mission in mind. This summer we spent hours working with groups of children testing out recipes, and breaking down the process of a teaching kitchen program. Our goal is simple, to connect the Kitchen Kids participants so that they begin to build lifetime skills they can pass along for generations to come. Our benchmark is not one that we will accomplish next week, or month or even year, but continually spark and build the connection that children will have with their food. We want them to leave our programs with the understanding that food is more important than the dollar menu, that food is how they survive and that they deserve the best.

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