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
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!
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!
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!