Blog Action Day is an annual event beginning in 2007 where bloggers from around the world write about a single subject. This year's theme is "The Power of We" which explores topics such as equality, freedom, and community. While many people will be discussing non-profit organizations that benefit various societal sectors, I want to highlight the family.
A person's family is their first community, their first organization, their first "we." The power of a home cooked family meal is underestimated by many. Families that cook and eat together receive several hidden benefits. Besides the obvious advantages of saving money and instilling healthy eating habits, having dinner as a family has other, long lasting effects. Research has shown that children will be less likely to try and abuse drugs and alcohol and will achieve higher grades in school. As parents, you are more likely to hear about a serious problem and trust will increase within the familial unit.
Organizing a family dinner can be a daunting task if you are not accustomed to "rallying the troops" everyday. Start by choosing a couple days out of the week that the whole family can commit to eating together. Also, allow everyone to partake in the preparation process (cooking is half the fun). Quality time spent at the table, strengthening family ties, will ultimately lead to a happier and healthier life for all members.