Dinner—It’s Time to Make a Memory!
Fall is finally here—Hooray! Those hot, humid days are giving way to a breath of fresh air that energizes us as well as our families. I don’t know about you, but one thing I love to do when the weather turns is to plan all sorts of wonderful meals to celebrate the season. What does fall make you think of? Comfort food!
Yes, we love our meat and potatoes with a side of gravy, cookies and muffins, cakes and pies. We want all these wonderful tastes of the season as we run out the door to meetings, soccer games, school plays, and church events. This season, let’s treat ourselves and our families better. October is “Eat Better, Eat Together” Month. Here are a few easy ideas to celebrate the season while taking care of the ones we love.
Decorate the table! Putting together a beautiful table display gives the whole family incentive to stop, take time, and enjoy a meal together in the evenings. If time and resources are limited, it doesn’t take much to set the season. A quick and easy table setting is sure to be noticed and appreciated. Start with a favorite tablecloth or runner, add a serving tray or pedestal stand, and simply display one scented candle. Lighting a candle at mealtimes is a special way to say, “You are loved.”
Don’t forget the fruits and veggies! Yes, we all want meat and potatoes cooking in the crock pot some days. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, why not try adding a healthful option every night at the table? A simple green salad, a vegetable tray with ranch dressing for the little ones, or a dish of roasted vegetables can all be prepared, wrapped, and stored in the refrigerator overnight for an easy addition to dinner. If you are looking for something fun and creative, why not try the Southern Seasons cookbook? The Apple Cranberry Waldorf Salad on page 166 makes a fresh, healthy dessert or a delicious side item. How about a fresh Pico de Gallo salsa (p. 176)? You can spice up your meal and bring vegetables back to the dinner table!
Speak Up! Evening mealtime is a precious time for families. Schedules fill up quickly. Whenever we get together with family, let’s make it a time to remember. Tell a story from your childhood, ask one child to talk about something they are learning in school, give everyone a chance to shine. When we ask questions and interact with one another, it really says, “I care about you. You’re important to me.” What can you talk about at the dinner table tonight? How can you focus on one another and make a memory?
Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment below, and let’s hear your ideas to “Eat Better, Eat Together” this month!