Marie and Eileen
Goal: Getting the whole family involved in dinner
For Marie and Eileen, eating together every night was a priority. They participated in an organic farm share, cherished family conversation and wanted family traditions that were valuable learning opportunities for their three small sons – a five year-old and two-year-old twins. But dinners were sometimes a source of tension. Most of the work of preparing dinner was left to Marie, since Eileen had a more demanding work schedule. To decrease everyone’s stress and create more peace at the dinner table, they wanted to find new ways to involve more of the family in dinner preparation.
Progress: Creating new mealtime traditions
One change that they made was preparing more meals in advance when everyone could join in – even the twins sat in the kitchen and played with beaters! When the kids participated in making dinner, they were more excited to eat it. Getting the kids involved in dinner preparation led to conversations that never would have happened otherwise. For instance, when her oldest son asked why acorn squash isn’t the same color inside and out, he and Marie had a thought-provoking conversation about how things aren’t always what they seem, teaching him a valuable life lesson. The family also created new mealtime rituals, such as saving “big news” to share at dinner and discussing what part of the meal came from the farm share.
In their words:
Through The Family Dinner Project, Marie and Eileen learned about the power of setting and achieving goals. Marie’s advice is, “If it’s something you want, then work towards it. This project helped me to do it with dinner and with other things – set a goal, implement it and do it.”