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Real Family Dinner Projects: The Lazio Family

Posted on: January 3rd, 2017 by Bri DeRosa

lazio-familyWe met the Lazio family when they reached out to us in response to our profile of another family. As it turns out, the Lazios are friendly with the Nelsons, who were featured on TFDP in November 2016. Also avid fans of family dinners, the Lazios were eager to share their story.

The Family:

Shane and Barbie Lazio and kids Baylie (17) and Talon (15). The Lazios hail from Chula Vista, California.

The Goal:

Currently, Barbie says the family’s biggest dinnertime goal is to find a way to gather all four family members, sit down together, and enjoy a meal while catching up on what’s happening in the kids’ lives. She and Shane are consciously working on scheduling meals around their teens’ activities and social lives, but it’s still a work in progress.

The Challenges:

Teenage schedules and needs are taking their toll on the Lazio dinner routine. Whereas the family once ate dinner together nearly every night, now that Baylie and Talon are older, their parents are finding it harder and harder to make time for that connection. In fact, Barbie says one of the reasons she reached out after seeing her friends the Nelsons featured on our site was that husband Shane was becoming increasingly upset by their inability to stick to regular family dinners as they had done when the kids were young.

“With teens it’s hard when they have homework, afterschool activities, sports and extracurricular activities like volunteering…we try and work around the times when our kids will be home.”

The Strategies:

Like many stay-at-home moms we’ve met, Barbie still finds that she needs to plan very carefully and use her time efficiently to get dinner on the table at a time that’s convenient for everyone. Because so many activities happen around the dinnertime rush, she isn’t able to be in the kitchen cooking during the late afternoon and evening hours, so the strategic use of slow cooker meals and planning ahead for leftovers helps ensure there’s always a meal ready when the teens are.

“Even though I am a stay at home mom, my day doesn’t usually get hectic until the kids are out of school. Then I’m trying to work around activities and rides after school…Football season is a lot of us not being home for dinnertime due to games, practices and team dinners. We tend to eat a lot of quick meals and leftovers.”

The Food:

The Lazio family loves steaks, especially ribeye, and really “anything on the grill,” Barbie says. She and Shane also enjoy homemade tacos, while Baylie and Talon are more partial to spaghetti and meatballs.

Try some of our versions of the Lazio family’s favorites: Steak tips, Fish tacos and Meatballs!

The Best Part:

Faith is important to the Lazios, so the nightly dinnertime prayer is central to their enjoyment of their family meal. They make a habit of listing things they’re grateful for during this time, as well as asking for blessings for themselves, family and friends. In addition to their prayer time, Barbie and Shane make a point of trying to stay caught up on what’s happening with the kids’ friends and educational pursuits, and Barbie says the whole family likes to spend their time at the table laughing together.

Do you have your own family dinner project to share with us? We’d love to hear from you and consider featuring your family! Contact Us.