Dinner at Home

This type of article always amazes me. (link at bottom) It always gives me a sense of nostalgia when I think about eating dinners at home with mom and dad. The statistics in articles like this don’t even phase me anymore. I know deep down that this stuff is true. When I was a kid we always ate dinner at home. Always. We would eat out once a week, Friday nights, as a family. Sometimes we’d go to a Chinese restaurant or a Spanish restaurant or an American Continental restaurant but the point is we would eat out once a week. When Iris came into my life everything took a turn for the better. I worked full time outside the house, and Iris made our house a home. Once again dinner consisted of homemade meals, practically every night. I’d come home from work and the smell of a home cooked meal would greet me at the door when I got home. Not that we didn’t still eat out, but it was more of an occassional thing, and was a bit more special. Now Iris is works outside the home, and I’m in college full time (again.) Dinner duty falls in my lap once again. (most of the time, except on weekends) According to Iris I do a pretty good job with dinner and packing leftovers for lunch, but in my opinion, I don’t do quite as good a job as Iris. However, now I can’t even imagine eating out only once a week. The biggest thing is convenience, somehow, and I don’t know how, it seems like we don’t have the time to cook and eat at home anymore. We always did before… what’s changed? Has our world really somehow become more fast paced?

I don’t even know why I’m posting this article, perhaps it just makes me think of the good times eating at home as a family when I was a little boy. If the article somehow encourages you to eat at home more and that your lives are somehow better for it, then “Yay”.

For those of you reading this that have small kids, (you know who you are,) I especially recommend giving it a shot. Not just to move to the better side of the statistics, but for the “sense of family” that comes from regular meals (at the table) together. But I warn you, it’s not easy to establish. In my previous marriage, I tried to establish this as a pattern starting with just one day a week. Wednesday was going to be “Spaghetti Day.” Hey, granted it’s not the healthiest meal, but everyone likes it and it’s easy to make. We couldn’t even get spaghetti Wednesdays rolling. So it’s not easy to establish, but the rewards are great.

Give it a read and let me know what you think: Dinner at Home

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About Les O'Riley

A technical writer by trade, I was laid off during the recession. I am currently finishing my Master's degree in Occupational Safety & Health. I am the Safety Lab Graduate Assistant for Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
This entry was posted in 2011 January and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Dinner at Home

  1. Mary Lollar says:

    I am 100% for family dinners. Since I am an older person I can remember that our meals in the evening were the ones that we liked the best because there wasn’t the hurry and scurry of trying to get somewhere else. And I also remember, being one of the oldest children of 8, that the baby of the family at the time seemed to like that time then the best also, because he or she had an audience and the more we laughed at their goings on the funnier they got. A good way to end a day.
    Just a comment about the grocery bags that you buy in the store and carry your groceries home in, they are telling us now that we should wash them after each and every time they carry groceries because there might be some meat that leaked fluid into the bag and then it would spoil and not be a good place to put any more food. Of course this could be anything that accidentally leaked.
    Bottom line is I vote for family meals, it not only unites the family, the children learn manners and respect for the rest of the family.

    • Les O'Riley says:

      Sage wisdom there, Mary. My thoughts exactly. I fear that my, or even your generation was the last set of people in America that would perpetuate this tradition. I hope loads of people prove me wrong. As a kid, it seemed like the only events that were cut in stone were getting dragged out of bed to get ready for school, dinner with the whole family at the table, and having to go to bed earlier than I wanted to. Dinners together were great.

  2. cliff says:

    Our family of 6 ate most of our meals together until the girls got their jobs at Ledo Pizza. I still think we manage at least one meal together almost every day and they grew up with the whole crew together for most meals except Dad who was often either at work or school but still usually made at least one family time per day. When the girls come home from work, or when everyone gets home from school on Thursdays, we always have a debriefing session where everyone tells the story of their day and everyone else listens. Not having health insurance we view food as our best source of good health so we dont eat much junk and Mamma tries to make sure even the snacks are good for them. We spend a lot of money on good food and hope its an investment in future health. recently watched the documentary Food, Inc and that’ll scare you into changing food choices.

    • Les O'Riley says:

      I like the way you look at food-for-health. After all, insurance is really just for sickness, not for health, anyway. I also like your “de-briefing” sessions.

      Iris and I do something similar… after I pick her up from work we run our errands and talk about our day, in the privacy of our vehicle on the way home. Similar to Get Smart’s “cone of silence.” After we get home, we “put away” the hectic-ness of the day and resume our personal life together.

      Thanks for your insights.

  3. Barb says:

    When kids were little we always used to eat at home. Now with everyone on the go and each with their own transportation, we eat out.

    Here’s my complaint. I’ll make HUGE casseroles, once or twice a week. With teens, it may last one meal and the left-overs are eaten for breakfast. I just get tired of cooking. And yes, sometimes they cook, but there’s still the inventorying, buying, and putting away.

    I totally understand eating out. It’s an by-product of exhaustion and overscheduling.

    • Les O'Riley says:

      I so totally hear you, Barb.

      You know what bugs me the most about trying to eat at home on a regular basis? We still eat out some, of course, and sometimes in doing so, we have good food go bad in the fridge that we then have to throw out!

      That’s a real blow to all kinds of things that we believe are right.

      Managing a constantly changing schedule certainly does prove challenging.

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