On my way into school to pick up my kiddo, I overheard a father, learning in the car, buckling the car seat, saying, “Okay, we can do that, but first we have to go to McDonald’s.”
Just a few minutes later, on our way back out to the car, we walked by a mom and daughter discussing their dinner plans as well:
“How about Boston Market, that sounds better to me than McDonald’s,” Mom said.
“No, Pizza Hut,” replied the four-year-old, in the tired voice of one who is well aware of what eat of these restaurants offers on the menu.
Obviously, they haven’t heard. October is Eat Better, Eat Together month. They have the together part down, but not the better. Still, does eating in the car count as together?
I don’t think so. In fact, I would go so far as to suggest that Eating Together not only requires a table and chairs, in one’s home, but also requires an absence of TV and cell phones. I know, unthinkable, and yet I dare to go there. Nightly. While recent studies () show a positive trend back to the table, still, nearly 30 percent of families seldom eat together.
Efforts at improving this situation include many studies and awareness campaigns to help the American public realize that eating dinner together is linked with better nutrition, and a tendency for kids to make better grades and be less likely to try drugs and alcohol. Thus, you could say that just saying no to fast food, helps your kids just say no to worse addictions.
So, celebrate! Say yes to Eat Better, Eat Together!