The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Tip of the Week: The Uninvited Guest

The table is set, the meal’s almost prepared and you’ve called your family to sit down and eat together. You think, “tonight is the night, we’re going to have great   conversation, the kids homework is done, my loved ones are all home from work and practice…” Even the meal is a healthy mix of fruits, veggies, proteins and grains – just like the MyPlate suggests. As everyone sits down to the table, the unexpected guest arrives!

I know you’ve been there. It’s all ready, it looks and smells great. You’re so pleased. Then, the buzzing starts.

You probably are thinking I mean the phone or the door bell, or even the forgotten kitchen timer. I don’t mean any of those. I’m talking about our 2013 technology. What form does this take in your home? Mine – it includes iPods, HTC smartphones and possibly at your house, a laptop or tablet.

This uninvited guest at our dinner table is far more disruptive than the person who knocks at the door. And yet, we can’t seem to get away from it. New rule: no technology at the table. Let’s be honest, most meals last 15-20 minutes. The addiction of reading texts and responding immediately work against the Family Table model of connectedness. We all know it. Now we need to just turn it off, set it aside and focus on those around the table with us.

Reality: if you have a suggestion as to how to make this less of a dinner-table fight, please let me know because I don’t see the buzzing slowing down any time soon!

For more about the Family Table project, visit our website at


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