Family Dinners at Home ~ Mom Blog ~ | Mom Blog: written by a teacher-mom, but not just for moms- a blog for everyone

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Family Dinners at Home ~ Mom Blog ~

mom blog-eating at dinner table
It is sort of sad when the question is, "Where are we going to eat" and not "What are we going to eat?"

Deciding to stay home this year with Hudson meant cutting back in some areas. So, in order to help pinch  pennies, we try our best to eat at home as much as we can.  We have always been a family that loves to eat out. Most of the time it has been for convenience as we hop from one ball park to another, but we also just enjoy the..."Where are we going to eat tonight?"..... or so we thought!  Okay, we do like to eat out, but as time has passed, and we have done it less and less, we have grown to enjoy eating at our own dinner table more and more.  I might add that it's not just the adults that feel this way, it's the kids.

Staying at home meant I needed to take a close look at where our money was going, breaking down credit card statements, bills, etc.  We always pay our credit cards off monthly, and typically use them simply for convenience.  In this case, the use of the credit cards made it nice to be able to look back and see where our money was going each month.  RUDE awakening!!  Way too much money was going to eating out.  Honestly, I never really looked at the amount we were spending on eating out.  After all, we had the money, so I would just pay the bill and move on.  But after a close examination, the restaurant portion of the bill looked something like this:  Zaxby's, Chick-fil-a, Moe's, Chick-fil-a, Shane's, Chick-fil-a, Chili's, blah, blah, blah.... basically, just repetition of restaurant after restaurant day after day.

After further examination, I started to think about what the kids were ordering at these restaurants.  Basically they always order the same 2-3 items no matter where we eat, most frequently being chicken tenders and french fries......not so healthy and no variety!
My dinner table

After getting into the routine of eating at home over a several month period, Madison, my thirteen year old daughter, has made the comment on many occasions that she enjoys eating at home.  In the beginning, out of pure habit, Gibson would say something like, "Where are we going to eat?" and I would say, "Remember, we are going to try to eat at home more."  He has had a slight adjustment since he does love his french fries, but he has actually grown to love this time around the table, as well.  As a couple of months have passed, eating at home is the expected place to have our meals, with a dining out experience occurring about once a week.  Visiting restaurants has sort of become something special to them. They appreciate it, and it makes it more fun for the family. 


 With eating at the family dinner table comes many positives.  There is more play time, as the kids can play while I cook.  There is more variety in the foods they eat, not just the chicken fingers and fries.  Lots of money is saved. The kids learn clean up responsibilities by helping after dinner. One of my favorites is that the kids tend to engage in conversation more.  Think about it. You don't have all of the other people, noises, distractions, etc. that you do in restaurants.  It is a more personal experience at home, and therefore the kids would naturally be more inclined to engage themselves in conversations. 

We, as a family, made this decision for financial reasons, but I would encourage you to do the same even if money is not a factor.  I think you will find that your kids will start to enjoy it even before you do, and that in itself should make it worthwhile.

In order to help with some conversation starters at the dinner table, I have given you some ideas. Enjoy!

  • Tell me your favorite thing about today. 
  • Tell me something that happened today that you thought was sad. 
  • How did you make someone happy today? 
  • Tell me something funny your teacher said. How do you think teachers can make learning more fun? 
  • What kinds of creative lessons did your teachers do in school today? 
  • What did you decide to eat for lunch? If you could design school lunches, what would you serve? 
  • You have one minute to tell me as much as you can remember about today.
  • What are some fun things you think we can do as a family? 
  • What is your favorite subject in school right now? Least favorite? Why? 
  • Have you met any new friends in school? Names? Interests? 
  • Who do you sit by at school? How is that working for you? 
  • Do you ever see kids do things that you think are inappropriate? How do you think they should have handled the situation?
  • If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money? 
  • Tell me 5 words to describe your day. Then have your kid elaborate on them.  
  • Have you seen any cool toys/ inventions on TV lately? If so, what?




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6 comments:

Megan Raines said...

Hi Molly,

Thanks for the fun list of things to talk about at dinner time. I really liked "What did you do to make someone happy today" and "What fun things can we do together as a family?' I will ask those tonight. I also get tempted to eat out a lot and it has certainly effected our budget. I will look forward to reading and sharing your blog. I am also a mommy blogger www.tenandsoprano.com
Come by for a visit too!

take care! Megan

Brooke said...

Not to mention that taking kids out to eat can be more or a hassle than it's worth. At least if we are home and they are throwing food on the floor there are no angry stares.

Endang-F1 said...

Hello Molly,
I just join to your blog. I am, same with you, a mother and a wife of course with 4 children are ages 24, 22, 20 and 18. The first threes are girl and the last is a boy. I am government worker, 56 years old (maybe equal to your mother ?) and almost retire. I also have a blog named "Coffeetaria", it is abaut my experiences and my tips on drink coffee. Would you like join it, Molly ? Meet me at Coffeetaria at mariminumkopi.blogspot.com
Yours, Endang - Indonesia

Megan Raines said...

Hi Molly,

Thanks for the fun list of things to talk about at dinner time. I really liked "What did you do to make someone happy today" and "What fun things can we do together as a family?' I will ask those tonight. I also get tempted to eat out a lot and it has certainly effected our budget. I will look forward to reading and sharing your blog. I am also a mommy blogger www.tenandsoprano.com
Come by for a visit too!

take care! Megan

Brooke said...

Not to mention that taking kids out to eat can be more or a hassle than it's worth. At least if we are home and they are throwing food on the floor there are no angry stares.

Endang-F1 said...

Hello Molly,
I just join to your blog. I am, same with you, a mother and a wife of course with 4 children are ages 24, 22, 20 and 18. The first threes are girl and the last is a boy. I am government worker, 56 years old (maybe equal to your mother ?) and almost retire. I also have a blog named "Coffeetaria", it is abaut my experiences and my tips on drink coffee. Would you like join it, Molly ? Meet me at Coffeetaria at mariminumkopi.blogspot.com
Yours, Endang - Indonesia

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