Coming together for a home-cooked family dinner used to be the norm. Nowadays, parents work longer hours and kids have their own after-school activities, so dining at home has become increasingly harder.
Del Monte Philippines urges families to eat more meals at home through #FamilyWednesdates. It aims to rekindle the tradition of gathering together for dinner at least once a week for a delicious, home-cooked meal and meaningful conversations.
“Family dinners boost vocabulary more than reading, because dinners are more interactive,” says Dr. Lillian Leynes-Juadiong, family life and child development expert.
She enumerated the importance of family dinners:
They serve as a way to communicate with family members and to check on each other's well-being.
Table manners, meal etiquette and social skills can be effectively taught to children through a shared meal at home.
Conversations during dinner are a simple way to sneak in valuable lessons to children and expand their world, one dish at a time.
Eating at home is also cheaper and healthier.
Moreover, through #FamilyWednesdates, there is an increase in the prevention of destructive behavior. Frequent family dinners have been known to lower rates of smoking, drinking, pregnancy and illegal drug use among teenagers and the youth.
MEAL ACTIVITIES TO TRY. Time spent with the family is time well-spent. Here are tips on how to make #FamilyWednesdates memorable and enriching:
1. Ask questions. Try a simple “What did you do today?” or “Do you know how your name was chosen?” These types of questions will result in interaction and fun answers.
2. Images and photos. Pictures are great story starters. Bring old family photos with an interesting story or two. This can lead to updates on relatives or a discussion of family history.
3. Phones off. Young people are glued to their smartphones. Family members should turn off their gadgets during #FamilyWednesdates.
4. Goals and dreams. Allow each family member to share and elaborate on his or her dream or future plan. This can lead to a significant talk on potential careers and steps on how to get started. Just remember to be supportive keep the conversation light.
WEEKLY TRADITION. Once-a-week dinners with the family, can change things for the better. Make #FamilyWednesdates a weekly tradition for your family. For more information on the campaign visit: (www.delmonte.ph/wednesdates)