Family sciences experts say that there are different types of traditions. Some are centered around celebrations (such as holidays and birthdays) or special events created within a family (like vacations or game nights). Others, however, hinge on everyday activities [source: Hill]. Family dinner falls into the latter category.
Dinnertime may not have been considered a special event 50 years ago when it was a common part of a family's daily routine; but these days when even 5-year-olds have busy calendars, the evening meal can be a rare occasion. Yet, this simple event can give the entire household a chance to shake off the stresses of the day and bond. Plus, family dinners are more likely to be nutritious than eat-and-go evenings. This is important for many reasons, but one you might not consider is that the right nutrition can be a component of stress management [source: WebMD].
Just don't let this make you think you have to prepare a large meal every night. Putting such pressure on yourself may lead to abandoning this family tradition. So instead, shake things up. Make hardy, home-cooked meals once or twice a week and enjoy leftovers on other evenings. You can even allow a pizza or take-out night once week -- which on its own can become yet another fun family tradition.
We have lots more information on the next page, so keep reading.