Dinner Time is Story Time

Many times I’ve heard Jill Blashack Strahan, Tastefully Simple's Founder & CEO, share, "People need to know they come from good stock." I love that statement! I believe we all hold our heads a little higher and stand up a little straighter when we are proud of our history and heritage. I'm not necessarily talking about ethnic or religious background. I'm talking about the stories and memories that have been created. Research shows that people who are more familiar with their family’s stories are more resilient than their peers. It's likely because they have a sense of belonging and know where they fit in the bigger picture of their family.

Building resilience is kind of a big deal! Resilient people handle stress better and tend toward better mental health. I really took this research to heart and started to consider how I was making sure I was building resilience in my kids. And it seems like the only time we're all together as a family is at the dinner table - so I decided to take advantage of it.

Since dinner preparation has become so easy (we're currently all over the Easy Grillin' 10-Meal Kit - we pull the prepared food out of the freezer and my husband grills it while I set the table), I used just a few minutes to pull out some old family photos. Some of them aren't pretty (I made some interesting fashion choices in the 80s), but they are who we are. I brought a couple of them to the dinner table. The kids got a good laugh and had fun figuring out which of their aunts and uncles were in the photos. Then I asked them what they thought was happening in the pictures. After they shared, my husband and I told the stories behind the photos. There were family vacations, graduations, holidays and other celebrations. As we shared these stories, we weaved in the memories we’ve made together as a family. It was such fun conversation, and the kids continue to ask for more stories.

So, I encourage you to simplify your meal prep (which is why I love Tastefully Simple) and use the time when they’re filling their bellies to fill your family with resilience. They will grow up knowing they come from good stock.

- Karen

Tips & Hints

  • Make placemats with old family photos so everyone has a different one under their plate.
  • Encourage your kids to share stories with you so they’re building up their own history.
  • Make story sharing a part of extended family meals so they can hear from grandparents and other relatives. Encourage them to bring old photos to share.

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