Food For Thought: Part One

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Char and I do much of our grocery shopping at international food markets
Char and I do much of our grocery shopping at international food markets and love introducing our family to a variety of nutritious taste sensations!

The LOVE of Amazing Family, Good Food, Fun, and Fellowship

I grew up in the mecca of diversity, New York City, and I have a fondness for all sorts of flavors, textures, colors and smells when it comes to food.  Food brings families and friends together.  Food brings life.  Life brings laughter and laughter brings much passion.  It’s a beautiful circle that wraps around our lives.  We all eat to live but we also live to eat.  Sitting with those you love around a table full of wholesome goodness brings hours of conversations and laughter.  Family dinners bring a family closer.  If you don’t sit down to eat with yours on a regular basis then keep reading.  I’ll explain why I feel this is very important to all families, no matter how busy our lives are.

We serve food with attitude, gratitude, and love in our home.  Our home represents who we are inside and out and we live it out loud and proud.  Let me share about some of our family dinner traditions. In one year dinner in our home has been transformed to something completely different than what it once was before Louis and I got married. We have new beginnings and new traditions.  We brought new life to the family dinner table.

Fondue date nights at home are a blast for Louis and I.  We are planning a big fondue dinner with the whole family soon!
Fondue date nights at home are a blast for Louis and I. We are planning a big fondue dinner with the whole family soon!

I started by expanding their taste buds.  Everyday I bring something different to the plate.  We may have 2 things they know and enjoy but one thing will be new to them.  It may be a “food” they have had but cooked in a different way.  I take notes and keep track of who likes what and if any changes could be made to make it even better.  I wanted our children to have a wide variety of wholesome goodness in their diets so that I knew they were growing healthy, happy and strong.  It’s a parent’s job, after all.  *smile*  Our children have grown to love many foods.  One thing I understand is healthy nutrition.  It is a passion of mine.  I have taught our children they must learn to eat “the rainbow”.  The brighter the colors, the more nutrition they will consume.  Fried foods are rare in this household.  Not forbidden, but rare.  As are refined foods and prepackaged foods that you find on 90% of the grocery store shelves.  I believe whole foods cooking is the very best and desire to teach my children that wholesome goodness is delicious and much more nutritious.

One thing we do is “Share and Care”.  This is time that we use for everyone in the family to catch up with everyone else.  We share how are days have been.  We share our excitement about life.  We share our concerns and needed prayers.  We also share funny stories and jokes that make one another laugh.  We care enough to listen to one another and to be a part of each others daily lives.  This helps bring a family closer.

Don't ever let them tell you that grilling is just for guys!  This girl can outgrill anyone!
Don't ever let them tell you that grilling is just for guys! This girl can outgrill anyone!

Another thing that we do is “Round Table Story Time”.  Story time is simply when one person begins creating a story (each person has 3-4 lines maximum per turn) and each person goes around the table in a circle adding their own flair to the story.  I must say the stories can become quite creative, funny and down right awesome!!  Our kids LOVE this dinner time fun. 🙂

We also have a box of antique scripture cards we pull out.  My brother was kind enough to send these to me years ago knowing I would love them.  I love them more now than ever before.  Our kids use them daily.  Sometimes at breakfast, sometimes at dinner.  It makes for amazing moments talking about God, His Will for our lives and helps our kids to understand how we are called to live in this world but not “of” this world.

Culture Nights:  I have been doing this for many years with our eldest and now I get to enjoy sharing this tradition with our little ones.  Culture night simply is preparing foods from a specific culture/area, having background music that goes along side the culture and preparing some fun facts and discussion about the culture/area.  It is lots of fun.  In the summer we will bring arts and crafts into the mix and allow everyone to explore their creativity and talents.  We may even create a game to go along with the evening.  Decorating, costume designing, learning a new dance or song.  Or maybe even writing a short story with pictures!  There is so much fun to be had all while learning.  Great dinner time fun for all!

Some family games are better after dinner.  Some are better before dinner.  Our trampoline is most certainly a before dinner activity!
Some family games are better after dinner. Some are better before dinner. Our trampoline is most certainly a before dinner activity! Louis, Clarissa, Stephen, and Nina enjoy a bouncy good time!

Game Night Dinners are also a ton of fun.  We usually eat home made pizza and baked cookies and have board game fun afterwards.  One of our favorite games is called “Apples to Apples”.  This game is not only a lot of fun for the family but it helps increase vocabulary and understanding.  Our children thrive on games that enhance their education.  I love games like that even more!  Makes learning fun!!!

What better way to brighten the end of a long day at work and at school than to sit around the table enjoying good food, fun and fellowship with those you love.  If you haven’t done this than I implore you to explore the many opportunities you have to Share and Care in Love with those most important to you.  You won’t be disappointed.  You will be creating loving memories to last a life time.

Family fun time is of utmost importance!
Family fun time is of utmost importance!

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