As members of New Canaan’s Health and Humans Services Committee meet to discuss and plan the year ahead there was agreement in the need to foster and expand the concept of the family dinner, as a community. This is a simple step that we’d like to see happen more frequently for the good of the family, the kids and the community.
Three years ago the Commission started a program to promote the benefits of family dinners. Last year, with the YMCA as host over 140 people came together for a communal family dinner event. Several of the local churches have also been promoting family dinners.
Research is plentiful in describing the numerous benefits for children who regularly participate in family dinners. Better grades and being less likely to engage in risky behaviors are just two of the often sited benefits. But in today’s hectic, plugged in world it is not easy to disengage and turn attention to the all important dinner table. Sometimes the composition of the family dinner needs to be relaxed. We build families and together we can work to support families.
Our familiy dinners can include a best buddy, a neighbor, a co-worker, or someone who you know would enjoy just being included. Let family members decide on guests. Keep it simple and casual, try to plan at least two dates a week (more always encouraged). Going out for a family focused dinner can also be a special event. Set rules: silence media and phones, and let everyone at the table enjoy good conversation, and a healthy loving nutritious time together. Family dinner, a resolution we can enjoy together.
Family Nurse Practitioner, Commissioner Town of New Canaan Health and Human Services Commission
Please join Gates Restaurant, the Outback Teen Center and the YMCA of New Canaan for family dinner on:
Gates: Feb 12,19,26
Outback Teen Center: March 14
YMCA: March 22