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Newsletter: January 2014

Four Weeks to a Closer Family

jan14-main

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Earlier this month we officially introduced our innovative new program: Food, Fun and Conversation: 4 Weeks to Better Family Dinners. Now you and your family can benefit from this free,online resource filled with loads of tips, tools and inspiration to help you set and meet your dinner goals for 2014.

Here are 4 quick tips —one from each week of the program—to whet your appetite and hopefully get you interested in signing up for more (I signed up—read my story about it here and please join me!)

week1

Map out your weekly menu and make a list of needed grocery items. Stick to your plan and avoid impulsive purchases – those unplanned food items that make it into your grocery cart and that raise your grocery bill!
week2

Choose recipes with only a few ingredients. Keep the number below eight. Once you have more ingredients than that (not including salt, pepper and water), you’re probably looking at a significant amount of time, and extra trips to the supermarket.

week3

Play a new game at the table to keep everyone lingering a while longer. You could try ‘Where in the World?” Imagine everyone at the table has the gift of teleportation, but it only lasts for 24 hours. Where in the world would you go? Would you bring anyone with you? How long would you stay? What would you do there?

week4

As your day rolls along, try collecting small stories that may interest or amuse your children, like something mischievous the dog did during the day, a funny exchange with your neighbor or your worry about almost running out of gas. Then, when you reunite with your child, start with a story of your own. This kind of modeling often helps get the ball rolling and means that you are offering something before asking for something.

Hungry for more? Sign up now for Food, Fun and Conversation: 4-Weeks to Better Family Dinners!

Best of 2013
As a means of saying goodbye to 2013, we’ve chosen our favorite recipes from the past year to share with you here.

Food

amy-easy-cheesy

grace-quinoa

john-quiche

Fun

amy-gamegrace-gamejohn-game

Conversation

From silly to serious, we offer our favorite conversation starters from last year:

ages-2-7

  • If you had a pet dragon, what would you name it? What would you do together?
  • If snow could fall in any flavor you choose, what flavor would it be?
  • What traits about your mom or dad would you like to have when you are a grown up?

ages-8-13

  • Finish this sentence: “Someday, I’m going to be the first person in the world to…”
  • Think of a time when life didn’t work out how you expected. How did you respond? Would you respond differently now?
  • If you were a utensil, which would you be?

ages-14-100

  • If you could live during another time in history, when would you want to live? Why?
  • Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
  • What would the title of your autobiography be?

Did any of our resources help you in 2013? Was there a recipe, a game or a conversation starter that really worked for you and your family? Share with us on our Facebook page so everyone can benefit!

Here’s to better family dinners and getting closer with your family this year!
Thanks,
John

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