The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Archive for the tag “Spring”

Time to Get Out and About!


This Week’s Recipe

The weather is slowly but surely warming up and as the gray clouds move out, there are so many things to enjoy outside and around town. Find our Out and About Guide online for tips to get your family out and active! The guide will provide your family with information on where to find activities, paths, parks and splash pads in the city along with nutrition tips and so much more. Bring the guide to your family table and have some fun planning your warm weather activities!

Another great way to use the guide is to plan your training route for this year’s Fort 4 Fitness. Did you know the McMillen Center is a charity partner? We have formed TEAM TAM to gather racers and pledges to support the McMillen Center. Follow this link, to sign up for Fort 4 Fitness and Team TAM today!

Happy spring!


Bethany Clapper, Director of Development & Marketing and Mother of Two

Starting an Herb Garden


This Week’s Recipe

We may have just had a spring snow, but we have also had a few days now where spring has shown us that it is (hopefully) right around the corner. I love hearing the birds in the morning and seeing the sunshine! I am so ready for this winter to be over and to be doing activities outside! Do you feel the same?

I want to head out to a local nursery and buy plants and seeds and soil. This year I want to try something new; planting an herb garden. I love watching flowers bloom that we have planted and this year I also want to be able to taste what we are growing in our salads, sauces and soups! I am going to be following these simple guidelines:

  1. Picking your herbs- start with picking out your favorite seeds. Some basics include basil, chives, cilantro, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme.
  2. Location- you want a spot with good soil that will receive ample sun light, yet be shielded from wind.
  3. Care for your herbs- water regularly, place mulch around the base, fertilize monthly and prune as needed
  4. Harvest- and ENJOY!

Growing herbs is a great family activity, too. Kids can help throughout the entire process and they will love seeing what they have helped grow in their dinner.


Bethany Clapper, Director of Development & Marketing and Mother of Two

Tip of the Week: Easter in Afghanistan


Easter will be a bit different for us this year.  We will still have our traditional jelly bean hunt, with the little kids (ages 5 and 7) searching the house for the jelly beans that are hidden all over.  It’s always fun to come upon an especially well-hidden jelly bean a few months after Easter!  This year,  I am busy packing a large box of Easter candy to be shipped to Afghanistan for my oldest son to share with his combat unit.  I am hoping a box of brightly colored candy, in a basket with plastic green grass, will bring a smile to the face of soldiers who are missing their families and the holiday celebrations happening at home.   Since my son can sometimes call home on Sunday, I am also hoping Easter morning brings a phone call from Afghanistan.  This year, I am very aware of the thousands of soldiers who are missing their children’s Easter egg hunts, missing their families, and missing their homes.


Holli Seabury, CEO, wife and mom of 7

Tip of the Week: Easter Egg Hunt


For as long as I can remember, we have gone to my aunt’s house for Easter. We almost always have ham and roast beef. There are a whole bunch of people in our families with birthdays around Easter, so we always have birthday cake to celebrate. There are usually about 30 of us, so it’s a full house. After dinner, we’ve always done a very competitive Easter Egg hunt. The adults and kids that have graduated from high school stuff plastic eggs with candy, dollar bills, and change. We usually stuff around 300 eggs. The kids in high school and younger look for the eggs hidden around the house.

One year, my older cousins decided to stuff the plastic eggs with left-over food. We were all in high school and my brother and cousin stuffed some of the eggs with leftover roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy. Luckily, only a couple of kids actually found them. They had hidden them up high, where only the tall, high school kids could reach them. Boy, were our parents were mad! But, every year, we joke about that prank!

Camy Rodenbeck 2012

Camy Rodenbeck, Health Educator

Tip of the Week: Easter Memories


This Week’s Featured Recipe

With every holiday in my home growing up, I have very fond memories. My parents are very traditional (my friends go even further and say old-school) but they have created lasting memories that my brother and I will forever cherish. At Easter, there were festivities all day long, but the day always ended with a beautiful meal that my parents prepared together. We all gathered in the formal dining room with all my mother’s best china, silver, and linens. Dinner included roasted lamb, baked potatoes, green beans or broccoli, cottage cheese and dinner rolls.

Another tradition that I loved when I was growing up was decorating eggs. We would spend hours making different colored eggs, personalizing them for each person, adding the wraps, and then of course finding them. Most egg hunts in Fort Wayne were too cold and muddy to be outside, but my parents would hide eggs throughout the entire house. My parents would give us one clue that would start us on a scavenger hunt. The clues would send us all over the house, garage and even inside my dad’s car! Growing up, I always had the same multi-color wicker basket, with green grass, that would be filled with candy, fruit and small toys, wrapped in cellophane and tied with a big bow at the top. My husband and I hope we too will be able in instill a sense of tradition and lasting holiday memories with our children.


Bethany Clapper, Director of Development, wife and mom

Tip of the Week: Easter Family Trip


Easter weekend conjures up for me a traditional pastel colored dress and big hat. That is what my childhood was like – going to church and singing praise songs, and of course, the big Easter Egg Hunt; followed by a ham dinner with all of my cousins and grandparents… My kids experience is somewhat different.

This year they will participate  in our church’s Easter Extravaganza – a short, interactive event, followed by an egg hunt where the donated grocery store bags flap in the breeze as the kids drop the candy-filled eggs, and a fair bit of grass, into them. Often held the weekend before Easter, the kids run like crazy to find the brightly colored plastic eggs, that ironically, because we are trying to teach them about volunteering, they had helped to fill the weekend before.

The last few years, our spring break has started on Good Friday and with my husband’s work schedule, we have started going out of town that weekend. So, no big family dinner on Easter for my children.  In both my husband’s and my family, our daughters are the only local grandchildren. Instead of one big family meal, we’ll have one big family trip. And together, we’ve all learned about Mammoth Cave, and the vehicles of WWII in Dayton, and the beaches and traditions of Mississippi and Louisiana where my husband went to college. This year’s agenda includes the Gateway Arch and a tour of the Cathedral Basilica St. Louis. Something tells me they are celebrating Easter there, too!

Frances Brooks Casual 2012

Frances Brooks, Director of Marketing and Operations, wife and mom of 2

Tip of the Week: Beef Kabobs with Grilled Asian Slaw

With all the warm weather we’ve been having, my crockpot sits lonely on the counter while the grills in our neighborhood are being dug out and put to work! Digging around in my recipe box for some lighter meals, I found a quick meal idea I’d clipped out from when the kids were younger and thought with all this gorgeous weather you too might enjoy the spring menus ideas for some family fun. Many families hit the road this time of year for that annual trek called Spring Break.

Mine is no exception. One of the biggest treats about the trip – the food! We are headed to the deep south – where deep fried and sweet ice tea are part of the culture. The downside will be balancing all of the treats with a healthy blend. And, making sure we all eat breakfast before running out the door for the next fun excursion!

If you’re staying at home, remember the great places we have locally and plan to make a day of it at Science Central, the Allen County History Museum, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, the amazing downtown Public Library, or the African African-American History Museum. For other ideas, try Visit Fort Wayne. I hope your week is enjoyable, and you are able to connect with your family in a meaningful way.

– Frances, Mktg & Comm, wife and mom of 2

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