The Dinner Dare-Overview
We've all heard it before: The family that eats dinner together is closer, kids are less likely to get in trouble, try drugs, or commit crimes, and have stronger bonds. We hear it over and over again, yet we still look at our spouses at five o'clock and ask the great American question, "Where do you want to eat?"
Forget the fast food, forget grabbing a pizza on the way home. I'm daring you to be an active part of your family for 30 days. 30 DAYS, that's it. At the end, you'll either love it, or you can go back to eating at Burger King and McDonalds, and at least you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that for 1 month out of your entire life, you made an effort to have a family dinner.
With every dare, there are rules. This one is no different.
Rule #1-Dinner will only be eaten at the dining room table.
That's right, you read me. All eating is to take place at the table together as a family. That's the whole point of this dare. That means no eating out. The ONLY exception is being invited to a birthday party or other family event.
Rule #2-No electronics allowed at the table.
No, none, no PSP, DS, cell phones or televisions, and yes, I did say table. The only exception is a radio playing in the background, but not loud enough to drown out conversation, and no music that will drive family members crazy. Sorry teens.
Rule #3-By the end of the month, your kids should know how to set and clear the table, load and unload the dishes, and help with meal planning. Don't let this overwhelm you, I will offer tips and ideas along the way to help you out.
Rule #4-The cook doesn't do the dinner dishes.
It's hard enough to switch gears and start a cooking-at-home regimen when you know clean-up is looming in the distance. It will inhibit you from branching out and trying new dishes if they sound too complicated.
Each family member should have time to talk about their day without interruption or criticism. There is no room at the family table for fighting or creating bad feelings. This is where you get to learn about that secretive thing living in your home called a teenager. Take full advantage.
Do not worry, oh worried ones. I will walk this month process with you, step-by-step and give you encouraging ideas and advice along the way. If you get frustrated, that's okay, just don't give up because it gets hard. I will even give you a great idea to get started:
First, fill up your life water bottle, then go to www.hotby6.com and get yourself a month subscription. Spend some time wandering through the site and start building a plan. They make is more than simple to have dinner done every night. When you browse the recipes and add them to your menu, start slow. The first week, only do dinner. Choose 7 meals and add them to your plan and hit print grocery list. It will tell you everything you need to get at the store down to the ounce. Just make sure you have lots of gallon and pint ziploc bags, because it's all going in the freezer. Go shopping, follow the directions on the recipes, and you have seven meals in the freezer ready to go. Give that a try, and on the third day, start building your menu for the following week, but this time, host a Hot by 6 party, invite your friends, and have a nice evening of bagging up future dinners, and you'll add a whole new reason to get together with your girlfriends.
I myself have fallen into the 'take out' queen. Not only has it distanced my family from each other, but it has put weight on my husband and I that wouldn't be there if we just planned better and made dinner every night. You will not be on this journey alone. I will be there right with you, every step of the way, changing my lifestyle and refilling my life water bottle right with you. Share your ideas, your challenges, and your stories with the group and let's unite as we re-join our family units.
Remember, sometimes all you have to do is add a little water.