Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I enrolled my daughters in a hospital sponsored six week course, which focuses on healthy eating habits and exercise. During our appointment the nurse weighed and measured the girls and had them answer health related questions. Some sample questions included: How many times a week do you eat fast food? and How many hours a day do you spend in front of screen (TV, computer or video games)? I nearly went through the roof when I heard both my daughters answer the following question: How many times a week do you eat dinner as a family? The girls both told the nurse once a week! The truth is we eat dinner together as a family (sitting at the table, home cooked food) six times a week and the seventh time is usually pizza delivered to our home. We are not a family that pulls through the drive-thru every evening and eats in our car on the way to our evening activity and call it "dinner" because we are all in the car. Even when my husband and I have dinner plans, I still prepare a meal for the girls and sit down with them while they eat. Do my daughters consider "dinner as a family" only the meals that they like and finish? I have to admit that this was a blow to my ego since I consider myself the Martha Stewart of Southeastern Michigan. Even if my children and I do not agree on the number of family dinners, I know family dinners provide stability in a crazy world and an opportunity for open communication.