Why Is Sharing a Family Dinner Important?

While weekends are meant as a time to wind down and relax, they can often be filled with many different activities that make it difficult to gather the family around the dinner table on a Sunday night. Making sure you sit down together does more than just provide a chance to share a dish - it plays a huge role in healthy living.

Good for the Body, Good for the Brain

Did you know that families who dine together eat a lot more vegetables and fruits and less fried foods or sugary sodas?1 It's true. Kids who eat dinner with their families are also less likely to be overweight and they feel that their parents are proud of them.1 The benefits don't stop there. It also plays a role in school, as kids who gather around the table with their parents get better grades1 and build larger vocabularies.2

It's Not What You Make, It's The Time You Share

Dinner doesn't need to take a lot of time to make or be incredibly gourmet. This Chicken with Mushrooms recipe has flavors and ingredients everyone loves and can be put on the table in less than 30 minutes. To make your dinner even more special, get everyone involved in its preparation. While you're putting the final touches on the Italian Herb Meat Sauce, have another family member whip up this Easy Antipasto Salad that only takes 12 minutes to make.

A Memorable Meal and A Smile Too

Remember, family Sunday dinners are a place to share, find support and reconnect. Keep the discussions light and enjoyable and you'll find out that not only do your kids open up more, you'll talk as a family much more often too.

 

Chicken with Mushrooms

Bow Ties

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 24 oz.)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup College Inn® Chicken Broth
  • 1 can (6 oz.) Contadina® Tomato Paste
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) Contadina® Stewed Tomatoes with Onions, Celery & Green Peppers, undrained
  • 1 tsp. Italian herb seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Click here to view and print this recipe.

 

ITALIAN HERB MEAT SAUCE

Primavera

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms, optional
  • 1 can (28 oz.) Contadina® Crushed Tomatoes with Italian Herbs
  • 1 can (6 oz.) Contadina® Tomato Paste
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Hot cooked pasta, optional

Click here to view and print this recipe.

 

Easy Antipasto Salad

Primavera

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) Contadina® Stewed Tomatoes with Onions, Celery & Green Peppers, drained
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red or white onion
  • 1 can (12 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
  • 1 oz. thinly sliced salami, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe black olives
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper strips, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Italian vinaigrette salad dressing
  • Lettuce, optional

Click here to view and print this recipe.



1Davis, J. (n.d.). Family Dinners Are Important. WebMD. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/family-dinners-are-important

2Fishel, Anne, Ph. D. (n.d.). The Importance of Eating Together, The Family Dinner Project, Retrieved April 17, 2013, from http://thefamilydinnerproject.org/resources/faq/