If there's anything close to a magic bullet that gives a kid a leg up on life, the experts seem to agree it's sitting down, regularly, to dinner with his family. And in our house, we haven't been doing that.
Night meetings, late work, activities and dietary differences have led us to the course of least resistance: Dinner for the kids is around 6, consisting often of grilled-cheese sandwiches, scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, or make-your-own pizzas. Dinner for the grown-ups often doesn't happen until around 9 p.m., after kids are in bed. That usually involves more varied fare -- and a well-deserved glass of wine.
Now, for the health of our family and the edification of those who read this blog, we're going to change that at least once a week. We're going to eat Dinner Together, and we're going to at least try to eat the same thing. In the spirit of your favorite reality show, I'm going to mercilessly report on the results. And if it doesn't work out so well for us, at least you have a new recipe.
First let me introduce the dramatis personae:
The would-be-vegetarian daughter: Leah, 6, is a lovely girl who's very concerned about the way animals are treated to make our food. I'd be happy to provide her with a vegetarian diet, but there's one problem: She won't eat vegetables. And she eats only one fruit happily: applesauce. At least they're adding Vitamin C to it. (Thank God she's not allergic to peanut butter.)
The sometimes adventurous son: Sam, 4, loves almost any kind of fruit, and in the right mood has been known to eat steamed shrimp, seaweed salad and spinach nuggets. But he often adopts a stance of mealtime solidarity with his sister.
The foodie parents: Given free time -- which we don't have -- we'd cook constantly in pursuit of the perfect meal. Dinnertime is a rare moment of respite in our hectic days. We wish for it to be delicious and peaceful.
So how did our first Dinner Together experiment work out? Look for a post and recipe later today. And if you have any bright ideas for how to do this, or fast-enough-for-a-weeknight recipes that you'd like me to test, please post below (or e-mail them to me.)
Wish us luck.
(Sun file photo)