If your family is anything like mine, you are juggling work, errands, homework, sports, and more. It can be really challenging to find time to sit down together for family meals. Barilla created the #ShareTheTable campaign to inspire, empower and support all families to share more meaningful meals together. In addition, the #ShareTheTable campaign helps provide meals to local food banks across the country through the Feeding America Program.
As part of the #ShareTheTable initiative, Barilla will provide 10 meals to Feeding America– a nationwide nonprofit organization that helps feed communities across America– for every #ShareTheTable photo shared on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Dinner should be a time for your family to unwind, share stories and catch up on the events of the day. Research shows that children experience significant benefits from family meals. Many studies show that kids who eat regular family meals are typically happier, confident, independent and hard working. They often get better grades; have healthier habits, and even better vocabulary. A great way to start a family meal routine is to have the kids get involved in making the meal.
What’s holding you back? For most, the excuse is time. I can relate. I am writing this blog post in the dance class waiting room. Next, I’ll pick up my son to bring him to soccer practice, work on homework with my daughter in the community center, and finally bring everyone home for dinner. Dinner will be a little later than usual, but we are still making an effort to sit down as a family, even if for just a little while.
When time is tight, it’s a great idea to make some bulk meals over the weekend that can be frozen and reheated during the week. We had fun making a batch of pasta fagioli to easily reheat for after soccer practice. The Barilla site has some great recipe ideas for busy families. They also have some good ideas to make family meals more fun and engaging.
While many families try to eat together, many still report feeling disconnected even though they live under the same room. We try to make family meals fun to minimize the eye roll, often accompanies by questions like, “Are we done yet? Can I watch TV? Can I play on my tablet?” We try to ask open ended and creative questions to avoid the one-word answers like, “Good,” “Fine,” or the dreaded, “Uh-hu.” Didn’t the research say these meals were supposed to improve vocabulary? So, we ask questions like:
- What was the best part of your day?
- What part of your day was not the best? Could you do anything to make that situation better next time?
- What was a new thing you learned today?
- What are you looking forward to this week or weekend?
So, don’t forget to share what happens when you connect with your family. Take photos to share on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Use the #ShareTheTable hashtag. For every post with this hashtag, Barilla will help provide the monetary equivalent of ten meals to Feeding America, up to one million meals. What a great way to help your family and others at the same time.
Valid through 4/30/14. For mealtime inspiration visit SharetheTable.com – view the video and learn how you can start sharing the table.
Do you have family meals?
What things do you do or discuss to keep connected?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla. For every post using #ShareTheTable from now until 4/30/14, Barilla will donate a monetary equivalent of ten meals ($1.11) to Feeding America®, up to 1 million meals. Barilla will donate a maximum of $110,000. One dollar helps provide 9 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks.