By Leslie Crawford
You may have heard about the studies — like this one (PDF) and this one — touting the emotional and physical benefits for children who eat dinner with their parents. (No bandwidth to read 'em? Just know that kids who dine regularly with their families tend to do better academically, have closer relationships with their parents, eat healthier food, have fewer weight problems, smoke less, and use fewer drugs and alcohol.)
Sounds fantastic until reality kicks in. Preparing a sit-down meal after a full day of work — along with wrangling homework and other after-school activities that eat into your precious few evening hours — can be impossible. Not so, says Suzie Kane, founder of familymealplanning.net and author of the Kindle book Suzie's Table: A Smorgasbord of Ideas for Less Stress and More Fun at Dinner Time.
"Start with a modest goal of just one or two nights a week," says Kane. "You don't even have to make the food. Even if it's takeout Chinese, the fact that you're sitting there together may be the only time busy parents have to connect with their kids."
If you do want to make an easy, healthy dinner, check out the recipes on eatingwell.com.
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