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Over the course of our marriage, my husband and I have learned how to blend our two healthy, but slightly different eating preferences into something we both really enjoy. I grew up with the mom who always had dinner on the table around six o'clock and he grew up with a mom who worked full time, leaving little time to plan for dinners. He looked forward to nicely prepared breakfasts instead. As we put these two ideas of family meal times together, we have made both breakfast and dinner a big deal in our home. We are even in a season where my husband can come home and eat lunch with the kids and I.

Breakfast is such an important meal. As a child I had a quick breakfast that consisted of cereal or a toaster waffle. Most of the time I ate alone and not enough to last the morning. I spent most mornings hungry.

My husband's family breakfast tradition continues in our family. He wakes up early and makes us all a fresh pot of steel cut oatmeal every day. This is often combined with seasonal fruit, eggs, or peanut butter sandwiches (my kid’s favorite). On Saturdays I like to make waffles from scratch (This grew out of a pregnancy craving, but is nice to have something different once a week). We all eat the same breakfast, so the whole family begins the day together. Once in a while we read the Bible at the table or shortly after breakfast. On Sabbath my husband likes to play some worship songs on the piano. His family breakfast tradition has made mornings much more enjoyable for me.

Being Together

Lunch is kept simple as far as food preparation is concerned. I make sandwiches, salads, eggs, or we eat leftovers. Nothing fancy, but we all get to be together at the table again. After a morning with three little kids four years old and younger, just being together to eat calms us down and breaks up the day nicely.

Then we move onto my favorite meal of the day, dinner. The whole process of making dinner is an event in itself. My kids began eating vegetables when they realized how much more fun it was to eat them raw as I chopped them up for soups and stir fries. They pulled up a chair to the counter to watch. After a few days of watching how much they enjoyed everything from cooking the meal to eating it, I realized how peaceful our house was for a good two hours. Plus, the kids were more inclined to try everything I made because they felt included in the process.

It is easy to get wrapped up in the stress of trying feed one’s family, but I have learned that cooking and eating together makes every meal a great bonding experience for our family. My kids are all young and do not want to sit at the table for hours, but I do believe that God is using the time to unite and strengthen our family as a whole. Face time with the entire family has become one of my highly cherished moments of the day.

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By Marion Ruybalid. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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