I keep hearing this: Eating dinner together, as a family, is so important for providing a strong social foundation for kids as they move into the teenage years. Since Haiden and Piper are so little, I'm not quite as concerned for any social effects our dining habits have on them, but I still think it's great to emphasize that dinner time is family time. At the same time, I totally understand how difficult it can be to get dinner on the table for everyone at the same time! There are things to do outside the home, work delays, childrens' needs and so much more that can draw one or more of us away from that family time that is honestly so delightful! The easiest way I make it possible for the four of us to sit down together together is to make sure a good, easy dinner is ready to go right around 5 or 5:15. That way I know we're on schedule for the rest of the night and there's no need to rush.
Barilla sent me a lovely little gift set to help get the word out about their Share the Table site. This site provides information on how to capture the key time of dinnertime with your family, and how to make it as powerful as possible. They also include recipes from celebrity chef Mario Batali and tips from other celebrities on how to make the most of dinnertime. One of the absolute best things about the site is that you can click here, then click the button to have Barilla donate a$1 to Meals on Wheels. It's easy and free for you, so it's a great way to help the cause!
I was able to use my gift set to make a few nice Italian meals for my family. I did one that was a simple fettucini alfredo with chicken, and another by chef Mario Batali. While most of his recipes are pretty complex to accomodate my toddler's simple tastes, his fusilli with asparagus and ricotta cheese pasta recipe was absolutely wonderful! A nice selection of recipes crafted by Batali can be downloaded when you visit this page.
If you're looking for a little inspiration to get the family together for dinner, I highly recommend you visit the Share the Table site!
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Barilla and received products necessary to facilitate my candid review.