It has been a traditional Filipino practice to spend dinner time at home. With our busy schedules, dinner may be the only time of the day when we can reconnect with the family and relax, laugh, tell stories and catch up. Wednesday, being midweek, is a perfect time to unwind and to recharge to go through the rest of the week refreshed and ready to face new challenges.
That said, an ideal Wednesdate is a family dinner at home. Here’s why:
1. It is better for your family’s health. Meals eaten outside the home are mostly calorie-laden, fried and have a high salt content, as compared to meals prepared at home, which are usually more nutritious and healthy because mom is in control of what goes into each dish. A well-planned home menu may also include more variety such as fruits, vegetable and dairy products, and contain more nutrients such as fiber, calcium, vitamin A and C and Foliate. Soda and sweetened beverage consumption is usually lower at the family dinner table.
2. It promotes camaraderie among family members. If every member shares with the task of dinner preparation, such as menu planning, shopping for the ingredients, cooking, serving and cleaning up, dinner at home will be more fun.
3. It is more conducive to quality conversations. Aside from food, good conversations are an essential component of family dinners. Eating meals at home is more relaxed, and family members can spend more time together as there is no rush to leave or get somewhere.
Organizing family dinners 1. Set a goal for family dinners every Wednesday night. Build from there.
2. Get the family involved. Let family members help prepare the meals and set the table.
3. Keep serving portions under control. You do not want a lot of leftovers to deal with the day after.
4. Provide healthy ingredients which include plenty of fruits and vegetables.
5. Set the mood, play soothing music, put fresh flowers or pretty linens on the table. Create an inviting and relaxing environment.
Conversation tips and activities 1. A simple “What did you do today?” and other questions like “Do you know the story of how your dad and I met?”, “Do you know how your name was chosen?” will result in fun answers and conversations.
2. Images and photos are great conversation starters. Bring an old photo of parents and other relatives to the dinner table and ask members to guess who are in the photo, which could lead to a discussion about members of the extended family and knowing them better.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
3. Allow each member of the family to share dreams and goals in life. Just make sure to keep it light yet interesting.
4. Bring out your family’s favorite board game to extend bonding after dinner.