NDSU Extension - Morton County


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November 26, 2018 "Dine In" in December

Liz Larson Extension Agent - Parent & Family Resource Center, Region 7


Dates to remember:
December 3    ‘Dine In’ Day


“Dine In” in December

On December 3rd we are recognizing the annual Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) Day: “Dining In” for Healthy Families. We invite you to find a day this week to dine in together with your family or friends. This day is an opportunity to make a commitment as a family to making and eating a healthy meal together - whether it is December 3rd or some other day the beginning of December. We often have meals together during the holidays, but busy lives and schedules lead to many families not having regular meal times together. This is an opportunity to make a commitment to sitting down, having a meal, and perhaps even making it a “device free” dinner. Try to plan the meal as a family - this can be a learning opportunity for kids of all ages. Have everyone take part in making the grocery list, finding recipes, or getting the kids to help in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up.  

Perhaps you have heard of our NDSU Extension “Family Table Challenge” over the past year. There are several resources, newsletters, and opportunities to win prizes! Visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/familytable. You may be thinking, we are a busy family and it is just not realistic. Or, what is so important or powerful about family meals? Sharing a family meal provides an experience that touches all of our senses – sight, touch, taste, smell, and listening to warm laughter or good conversation. Family meals help provide a regular, consistent opportunity to create a shared and meaningful experience. Research has shown that regular and meaningful family meals offer a large variety of benefits to both children and parents. For one, we tend to eat healthier when sitting down and dining in verses eating out. Children find comfort and build strong ties to family when time is spent together. This has been shown to decrease risk-taking behaviors. In two different studies, 79% of teenagers indicated that they very much enjoyed eating meals together with their family. We can’t underestimate the power of face-to-face family time for children and youth of all ages.

We have some great ‘conversation starter’ cards in our office and can be downloaded on the Family Table website – contact Liz to win a pack. With the conversation starters it is fun to hear your kids’ responses, but also for your children to learn more about you! Here are a few to try out as you celebrate ‘Dine In’ Day:

  • If you could choose, what would you have for your birthday dessert?
  • Name something that makes you mad and something that makes you grateful.
  • If you wrote a book, what would it be about?
  • Describe your day in 3 words.

For more information about Dining In, visit www.aafcs.org/fcsday/home. For more information about the Family Table Challenge or other Extension resources, visit www.ag.ndsu.edu/familytable. You can contact Liz Larson, Parent and Family Resource Center by calling 701-667-3342 or email Liz.Larson@ndsu.edu


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