7 Tips to Making Family Dinners Work
- Start the pattern of family dinners when your children are young.
- Use Sunday as the day to pick several nights during the upcoming week when the entire family can eat together – and try to stick to this schedule.
- Encourage your kids to create menu ideas and participate in meal preparation.
- Turn off the TV, video games, iPods, cell phones and computers and let the answering machine take care the calls while you’re eating.
- Talk about what happened in everyone’s day: school, work, extracurricular activities or current events.
- Establish a routine to start and end each meal – eat dessert or play a board game after dinner to continue the conversation and time spent together.
- Keep the “table talk” positive, respectful and loving – and make sure everyone gets a chance to speak.
Help, I Need an Easy Recipe My Whole Family Will Like!
While the Partnership is made up of communication, health, medical and educational professionals – we’re also a group of parents, friends and good cooks! Maria Perez, administrative assistant to the program management group at the Partnership, has two children at home and understands the importance of a family meal. She’s offered up one of her signature recipes to help you plan your own Family Day.
Maria’s Spanish-Seasoned Lasagna
3 pounds lean ground beef
1 large jar tomato sauce (garlic flavored)
2 boxes lasagna noodles
1½ pounds shredded mozzarella
16 ounces container ricotta
Adobo (Spanish seasoning)
Sason (Spanish seasoning)
1 11″x13″ aluminum pan
Preheat oven to 375. Cook noodles according to directions. Season meat with adobo and sason and cook in a skillet on medium high heat until brown. Drain meat and set aside. In pan, layer 1/3 of the cooked noodles, 1/3 meat, 1/3 sauce, 1/3 ricotta and 1/3 mozzarella. Repeat layers twice more. Bake for 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes, slice into squares and dig in!
This recipe is more than enough for a big family – with leftovers to enjoy the next day!
Reprinted from www.drugfree.org Partnership for a Drug-Free America