(this post is sponsored by SocialMoms & Kraft Foods)
While growing up, dinner as a family at the table was absolutely mandatory in my house. This is something I think is really important to pass on with my own family. At the moment, we have a two year old, which can make family dinner somewhat of a challenge, however, now is the time to set the habits in both B & the Hubs.
I've always been a somewhat picky eater. If I had a nickel for every time my parents said something to the point of 'if you only knew about those starving children in Africa...' I got around that statement & ate a lot of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Because of my personal preferences, I don't believe in forcing a child to clean his plate, nor do I think children should be forced to eat things they don't like. I do, however, think that you should try what's on your plate- two bites because B is two years old & so on. We try to keep B included in most aspects of dinner- preparation, some setting of the table, cleaning up afterwards.
Some of our other rules for dinner include no tv shows (although music is allowed), no cell phones (somedays we are still working on this with Hubz). Most recently, we've started requesting that B ask to be excused from the dinner table. Again, as he is only two years old, everything is a work in progress, but I believe that it's all important for the future. We take our time at dinner, discussing our days- making sure to include B & gently reminding him of things throughout the day so he can share his day with his daddy. After dinner we clean up together & then take some time to play trains or race around the house- whichever one B is favoring that day. Obviously as time goes on, we will enforce other rules & dos & don'ts that will apply as he grows up- things like a napkin on your lap, no feeding the dog (we're working on this one though), mouth closed when chewing, & more.
All in all,family dinners are really important to me because it is & always will be a chance for us to regroup, relax & spend some quality time together. Also, it keeps us healthy. I know, when we're eating a home cooked meal, exactly what the ingredients are, exactly how it was prepared & exactly how it will affect our bodies. Those are incredibly important things to me & to my family & the most important thing I believe I can do for my family is relax & enjoy the time we have together. Our family dinners help to instill some of the values I want my child(ren) to grow up with & that's something to be proud of.
disclosure*: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Kraft Homestyle Macaroni and Cheese blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
*I do, on occasion, blog about topics that are given to me through different programs, such as SocialMoms. While I am participating on the chance that I could receive some kind of monetary payment, i personally see it as worthwhile in honing my writing skills. Please don't view this as a sponsored post, but more as a writing practice for me. I love my readers & love having new topics to blog about, so I am hopeful that this is a win-win, when I choose to participate.