Making Time for Family Dinners /* ]]> */
Oct 272015


Nowadays, having dinner together as a family is not easy! Between my husband’s crazy work schedule, the kids’ various activities & lessons, my responsibilities with this blog, and other random stuff, life is very busy! Sometimes, we are running around all day and don’t get home until the evening. Sometimes, my husband will come home from work after the girls are in bed. Sometimes, dinner consists of take-out while we’re on the go! We don’t always manage to have dinner together as a family, but we do strive to make it happen as often as we can. And there are many reasons why enjoying a meal together, while being fully present, is totally beneficial for all parties involved- more on that soon!

Making Time for Family Dinners

Making Time for Family Dinners

Making Time for Family Dinners

Growing up, some of my fondest memories of childhood involve spending time at the dinner table with my parents. We used to sit around this big table and my parents would ask me about my day at school. I’d share stories about what we did in class, we’d discuss upcoming family trips and just spend quality time together. There were no TV’s, phones or tablets involved! Just good ol’ fashioned face-to-face communication! I always felt like that was such a beautiful (and important) part of my childhood, so I knew I wanted to give that same experience to my girls, even if it’s really difficult to do so these days! Even though we don’t always have dinner together, we always try to have at least one meal together sitting at the table (completely unplugged from electronics!) Sometimes it’s lunch, sometimes it’s breakfast, and sometimes when we get lucky, it’s a few meals in one day!

Because of my fond memories of family dinners from my childhood, I was instantly excited when I got an invitation to participate in the #BillionDinners movement! The way it works is super simple! Known as the Billion Family Dinners Challenge, it encourages people to have meals together. The purpose of this campaign is not to pretend like getting everyone together at the table is an easy task. Nonetheless, it’s still a worthy goal to strive for. There are actually many significant benefits to those who regularly eat dinner together, such as:

  • Lower obesity levels
  • Lower substance abuse rates
  • More positive relationships
  • Happier children

Interestingly, enjoying meals together as a fmaily doesn’t just benefit the individual- it benefits society as a whole! See this video below for more details on the positive implications of enjoying dinner together with your family!

In fact, I’m so impressed by all the positive consequences of eating dinner together as a family, that I recently downloaded the free DinnerCall app on the iOS Apple Store. It’s a fabulous little app that tracks & shares meals and also inspires other people to join the BFDC movement. You simply set the meal duration, set the number of people joining you, take a picture of your dinner, and the app starts tracking the length of the dinner. When you are finished with your meal, you simply notify the app that you’re done and you can share it to Twitter & Facebook with one click!

Tracking Dinners with the DinnerCall App

Tracking Dinners with the DinnerCall App

Another cool thing about this app is that it allows you to get a status update on the total family dinners tracked throughout the world. Check out the current family dinners in progress and the total family dinners completed thus far!
Keeping Track of Total Family Dinners

Keeping Track of Total Family Dinners

Even though a billion dinners might sound intimidating, just realize that if each household tracks only 10 dinners, that would add up to 1 billion dinners! I’m definitely taking the #10in2 challenge, which encourages people to track 10 dinners in 2 weeks! And I’d love it if you joined me! I’ve already tracked 5 family dinners and I’m well on my way to achieving the #10in2 milestone! Here is what you need to do:

  • Download the FREE DinnerCall app (Android or iPhone)
  • Sit down to 10 family meals in the next 2 weeks.
  • Track them using the DinnerCall app. Make sure you tag me (@EngineerMomBlog on Twitter or @engineermommy on Facebook) and @DinnerCall and use the hashtag #billiondinners so we can keep track of your shares!


Oh, and don’t worry if you’re single or don’t have kids. A family dinner consists of any two individuals enjoying a meal together: friends, neighbors, etc. And it doesn’t have to be just dinner either- breakfast and lunch count, too!

In fact, BFDC is so passionate about this cause that they are offering five $100 grocery store giftcards to those who take the #10in2 challenge and complete it by November 15! Get started by clicking here and you might just win!

I hope you Join Me in this fabulous movement. I can’t wait to see the meals you’ll be sharing with your family and I can’t wait to keep sharing mine! Let’s get to a billion!

Disclosure: Engineer Mommy is a participant in the Amazon Services, LLC Associates Program, which is an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to For additional details, please see our full Disclosure Policy. Any link may be an affiliate link. All opinions are exclusively my own.
 October 27, 2015  Posted by

50 Responses to “Making Time for Family Dinners”

  1. What a great idea. I have very fond memories of family dinner when I was growing up, but life today just seems so much busier for everyone. It really does take a group effort to make this work, but so worthwhile. Im so looking forward to having all my grown girls being under my roof for the holidays this year and am planning as many family meals as I can get away with.

    • EngineerMommy

      Yes, things have definitely gotten busier for people recently! But it’s still so important to make the time to eat together! We try to have at least one meal together every day!

  2. This is such a wonderful challenge. My greatest memories with my family was also our table conversations during dinner. It’s important to eat together as a family as it will help strengthen your relationship with one another.

  3. I find this to be a cool and interesting concept. I have noticed that people don’t like spending time with each other like they used to before all the technology boost. I like that this encourages conversation and that it also helps with watching with what you eat.

    • EngineerMommy

      Yes it totally forces us to pay attention to each other. And also to pay attention to what (and how much) we’re eating!

  4. This is such a cool app and idea. We make time to sit down and eat together most of the time. It’s how we share our days and we tell stories and have a few laughs. We spend time together enjoying food that we love with the people that we love.

  5. Dinner as a family is one of my favorite memories of my child hood. This sounds like a great way to raise awareness for more family dinners and to encourage it as well. I had not heard of this before.

  6. We always ate dinner together as a family when I was growing up. I think this is a fab app and a great idea to get people thinking about finding ways to eat dinner together again.

  7. I didn’t have a family unit as a child it was only my mom and me but I remember that dinner time was dinner time and I grew up not having a phone or electronic at the table these days people eat so much on the go. This is a great concept!

  8. What a fun challenge! We eat dinner together everyday, except usually Sunday. On Sundays we eat lunch together. So getting 10 meals in 2 weeks would be easy for us! I’ll check out the app for sure!

  9. It is hard to have that traditional dinner where everyone sits around the table and talks to each other isn’t it? Sometimes I feel guilty about it other times I just turn the channel and scoot closer to the TV tray. After reading your article I think its time to start rounding everybody up again for dinner. Thanks for the reminder!

    • EngineerMommy

      It is often much easier to skip meals together. But there are SO many reasons to make family dinners a priority.

  10. I’ve never heard of this app before but it sounds very interesting and I love the idea!

  11. Thank you for your wonderful post! I wrote a similar feature on my blog because I really feel the importance and value of having Family Dinners. It’s such a wonderful daily tradition that all families must try and see how the familial bonds are strengthened.

    • EngineerMommy

      Yes by just making a little more effort to have meals together we’re finding the time to make it happen more often. It has been a wonderful experience.

  12. I love it when we have the opportunity to get everyone together at the table for a meal. It is so much fun to share and hear what’s going on with each other and I know we have so little time before the oldest is out the door for college.

    • EngineerMommy

      Yes and when everyone “unplugs” their devices it becomes the perfect opportunity to really have meaningful conversations.

  13. It really is very important to sit down with the family and have Dinner, The DinnerCall app sounds great!

  14. My Dad always made time for family dinner! It’s something you’ll remember when you raise your own kids! Very important 🙂

  15. Great Post! I find myself rushing through dinner to get to that few hours of me time I get after everyone is in bed but I have been missing our chats and family moments we used to have at that time. Making time for that is definitely just as important as making time for myself…thanks for the reminder

    • EngineerMommy

      Yep I also strive to have me time too. But family bonding time is just as important. I try to get both of them to happen as often as possible.

  16. Family dinners? Hell yeah it’s always nice to sit down with the fams for a feed but it doesn’t happen not nearly enough in my neck of the woods. Something to work on by the sounds!

  17. This indeed is a fantastic cause and challenge for anyone. I too have fond memories of preparing dinners together and eating at the table with all nine of us when I was a kid. It is so important for family because it is a great bonding time.

    • EngineerMommy

      Yep some of my best childhood memories involve meals at the table! I want to give my kids that same experience!

  18. Family dinners are so important to me. Definitely will be checking this app out. Thanks for the share.

    • EngineerMommy

      It’s a great easy-to-use app that keeps you accountable. And encourages you to inspire others to join the movement!

  19. I hope that more families will take time to make an effort in spending dinners together if not every day, then at least during the weekends. This is a wonderful concept that encourages family bonding.

  20. This is a fantastic idea! We eat together a few nights a week, but need to do it more often. I think families who eat together, are more harmonious.

  21. Family dinner is so important for building the relationships!! I hadn’t heard of this app before this!

  22. Ehoooo what an amazing chellange ! I also would love to do this! Eating together is such an amazig thing.we always try to have atleast one meal together

  23. I heard about the health stats you mentioned on the radio the other day, it is truly incredible to think eating a meal as a family at the table could have so many positive health effects! Thanks for sharing!

  24. It’s nice that there’s an app like this that in spires family dinners. I’ll download it and give it a try.

  25. That sounds like a cool app. I know we need to get better at making time for dinner as a whole family! Thank you for the reminder!

  26. I really struggle with sitting down with my kids for family dinners. My husband travels a lot, so it is just me and the kids. Many times I prefer to eat alone as some “me time” while cleaning up dinner mess while the kids eat, but I realize that my kids would probably enjoy it more if I sit down with them.

    Thank you for posting that app! I will look into downloading it to my phone shortly 🙂

    • EngineerMommy

      I’m glad you’ll be checking out this app. It’s amazing what some quality family time can do for everyone!

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