10 Reasons to Have Family Meals More Often

When was the last time your family had a meal together? I don’t mean sitting in the car munching on burgers from the drive-through. I mean sitting down at the table and sharing a home-cooked meal.

If you can’t remember when you last enjoyed a family dinner, make plans to have them more often. Experts have found – and continue to discover – plenty of benefits for both children and adults when families have dinner together at least three times a week.

I know…I know, it’s not always easy, so click here if you need help with meal planning and grocery shopping.

Here are 10 reasons why you should have family meals more often:

Good For The Body

1. When families eat together, everyone tends to eat healthier. People who have frequent family meals consume more calcium, fiber, iron, and vitamins B6, B12, C and E. It could be because home-cooked meals are healthier than fast food and restaurant meals. (Source: Archives of Family


2. Children tend to eat more fruits and vegetables when they frequently have dinner with their families. They also tend to eat fewer snack foods. (Source: American Dietetic Association)

3. Children in families who eat dinner together are less likely to be overweight (Source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine). This makes sense, given the findings in #1 and #2 above.

Good For The Brain

4. Children from families who eat meals together get better grades than their peers who don’t have lots of family meal times (Source: Lou Harris-Reader’s Digest National Poll). So family dinners are not only good for the body; they’re also good for the brain.

5. When families eat together frequently, children have better language skills compared to kids from families who don’t have family mealtimes often. (Source: Harvard University)

Good For Emotional Health

6. Children of families who eat together report feeling happier and are more optimistic about the future, than their peers who have infrequent family meals. (Source: Lou Harris-Reader’s Digest National Poll)

7. Teenagers are less likely to use drugs, smoke, and drink alcoholic drinks, when their families eat together regularly. (Source: Columbia University)

8. It may come as a surprise, but among Moms who work outside the home, those who have family mealtimes reported feeling less stress than those who had family dinners less often. (Source: Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal)

9. The more often teen girls had meals with their families, the less likely they were to have symptoms of depression and suicidal behaviors. (Source: University of Minnesota)

Good For Family Bonding

10. Eating together gives family members the chance to communicate and build relationships, something that both adults and children appreciate very much. (Source: Nutrition Education Network of Washington & Oprah Winfrey’s “Family Dinner Experiment”)

I hope these reasons motivate you and your family to try and eat together more often. We’re all busy – even children have plenty of after-school activities. But as the list above shows, family meals are worth every effort we put into them. It helps to plan ahead so that we’re not scrambling to get dinner ready or panicking because we don’t have all the ingredients we need.

To make it easier to get the family around the table with a home-cooked meal, check out Dine Without Whine’s menu planning service. It cost just a penny to try it out!

April 15th, 2013

Walking the WAHM Tightrope

Walking the WAHM tightrope – balancing work and family

Sometimes, being a work at home mom can feel like walking on a tight-rope! Balancing your work-time and you family-time can almost feel overwhelming, but it can be done. As a WAHM you are ahead of the game. The following are some tips to help keep you balanced – and sane!

You have the ability to set your own hours, so take advantage of that right now. If you can handle some tasks at “odd hours”, you will have more family time during the day. Are you a morning person? If so, try to get up an hour before your family to take advantage of some “quiet time” to focus on your business; night owls can take care of emails and other administrative tasks after they have put their children to bed.

If you pick your children up from school, use the time you spend waiting for them to get out of class to return customer phone calls. A wireless headset for your cell phone will allow you to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road if you make calls while driving.

During the week, when schedules are busiest, plan speedy dinners. Let your kids help out in the kitchen while you cook – you’ll be spending time together and teaching them skills they will need. There are plenty of cookbooks out there dedicated to “kid friendly recipes” if you need some inspiration on what to make.

Blend family time and work time by getting your children involved in your business. Smaller children can affix the stamps or mailing labels; older children can help hang flyers; and teenagers can take on some administrative tasks such as data entry.

Set aside some time each day to spend with your children with no distractions. You don’t have to go anywhere special; the time can be spent reading a book or playing a game. The point is just to let your children know that they come first, and the business comes second. Remember – you became a work at home mom so you could spend time with your family. Don’t forget to take some time out to enjoy them!

March 26th, 2013

Merry Christmas to All

From my family to yours, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

December 25th, 2011

Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

bigstockphoto_Drowning_In_Papers_5075831Christmas is in 5 days (four if you celebrate on Christmas Eve!), so dinner’s gotta get get done. As a WAHM you might be thinking you are over your head in things to get done.

Everyone thinks of the traditional ham or turkey with all the trimmings as the must-have meal, but it’s a lot of work.  You can still have a delicious meal without slaving away all day.  Really!

Here’s Some Ideas:

* Don’t have a lot of guests? Try oven-roasting a whole chicken or even chicken pieces.

* Take a walk on the wild side with a crockpot recipe the family loves. Even a pot roast can be cooked with a Christmas flair by topping the roast with cranberry sauce. Yes, cook the roast with the cranberry sauce on top and sprinkle a little onion soup mix for extra flavor.

* What about a Christmas pizza? A simple idea that can get the family involved. Choose a Christmas-themed pan shape (Christmas tree, bell, etc.) and go for it.

If You’re Still Making The Big Turkey or Even a Ham:

* Choose ready-made stuffing.

* Packaged turkey gravy can help in a time crunch. Just replace some of the water with pan drippings and YUM!

* Packaged mashed potatoes have come a long way. If you haven’t tried them in a while, do a test in your kitchen. You might be surprised.

Of course, if you aren’t into processed foods, things may not be so simple. You’ve just got to get creative with the time you spend in the kitchen:

* Appetizers can be simple. A veggie or meat plate. You can even purchase these fresh items, pre-cut and arranged.

* Don’t go overboard with side dishes. If you’re making them yourself, you don’t have to have EVERYTHING. Just make bigger batches of a few vegetables and other items. They WILL satisfy a hungry crowd.

* But better than making less is getting OTHER people to make it. Enlist all your guest to bring a side dish. Unless they have a specific dish they really want to make, be bold and tell them what to bring. It’s easier for everyone involved.

* Chop vegetables, get the bird ready and do other kitchen prep the night before. Enlist the help of family members and enjoy a glass of wine or a hot buttered rum…or two.

* Don’t be shy about asking for help on the big day. Your guests are perfectly capable of basting, slicing, setting and more.

The important thing is to enjoy the day. Entertaining can be fun, but if you’re running around the kitchen all day, sweating up a storm…it can lose a bit of its lustre.

December 20th, 2011

Why Would Any One Give Fruitcake for the Holidays?

Why? It seems that the same fruitcake is still floating around since 1840. I have NEVER once seen anyone actually eat a fruitcake, I have just seen them given as gifts, you know, for office parties, for someone who you “have to” give a gift to but actually don’t know them and don’t know why you “have to” give them a gift.

It is much like a twinkie, it will last forever and probably has, because like I said, I have NEVER actually seen anyone eat a fruitcake, ever!! Has anyone known someone who likes fruitcake? Is there something wrong with that person? I mean, like do they also eat food that has fallen on the floor and then yell something about the “3 second rule” and gobble up the fallen food? Then I guess I would understand their enjoyment of fruitcake also.

I just don’t really get the whole fruitcake thing, not fruit, not cake, not alcohol really, what is the point? Give me a bottle of vodka and a piece of chocolate cake and then we can talk, until then, get rid of this ridiculous fruitcake crap!

Forget the damn fruitcake …. give a Blow up version of fruitcake this year, it keeps on giving year after year. Make it a tradition to pass on this inflatable little goodie during the holiday season.

Inflatable Fruitcake

Inflatable Fruitcake

December 14th, 2011

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