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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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Reasons for Family Dinner: Here and Now

by Grace R. Freedman, Ph.D.

We often hear about the long-term benefits of family dinner. Nonetheless, as busy parents, it can be hard to think about health and social benefits that are far down the road when you are just trying to get through the day. What can family dinner do for you and your kids TODAY?

Here and Now Reasons for Family Dinner

Family dinner adds a “break” to crazy, over-scheduled days. Getting dinner to the table is a rush, for sure, but sitting down and taking time with family….priceless.

Family dinner gives you a daily “touch-base” with kids of any age. Don’t underestimate the importance of nightly check-ins at the dinner table to hear new stories and get wind of any new problems. Whether your child is just starting kindergarten or already in high school, he or she will appreciate knowing you can always talk at dinner time.

Family dinner saves money. Cooked meals at home can be cheaper, healthier and even faster than take-out or delivery. Try stocking-up on make-ahead recipes that can be easily warmed up and memorize a few 20-minute, fast meals like stir-fry.

Family dinner makes healthy eating easier for everyone. Family-style meals have been shown to help everyone in the family maintain their weight and consume more vegetables, when served.

Family dinner gives you time to be a family. Back-to-school is often a time when we notice and marvel how fast our kids are growing up; the years honestly can speed by. Now is the time to begin your family dinner tradition, so you can really learn from one another and enjoy each other. That’s the real benefit now, while you are also making memories and life-long connections

Make the commitment to family dinner.

Start the school year out right by planning to make family dinner a part of your new routines. At the Blog for Family Dinner project, we hope to help with inspiration, advice and recipes as we post stories about family dinner throughout the #B4FD month from September 26 to October 24, 2011. Spread the word!

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