Here's a sampling of what parents had to say about the value of eating dinner together as a family:
• My husband and I make sure that we always eat dinner with our children (ages five and three). I hope that a lot of the parents are like me and that they think dinner is a very important time to teach manners, to study eating habits and to spend quality time!
• My husband travels a lot, so that automatically means we don't eat together "as a family." And to be honest, even when I try to sit down with the kids, by the time I actually SIT down to eat, my dinner is cold. Sometimes I prefer to have the kids eat first, and then I can have a relaxing dinner after they have finished.
• I'm not worried about losing out on "quality time," because I'm a stay-at-home-mom and I'm able to give quality time to each of my four children throughout the day without my having to sit and eat with them.
• We go out to dinner every weekend to a nice sit-down restaurant.
• My son and I have a sit-down lunch every day, and he sets the table and I teach him his table manners then. We often go out for nice sit-down lunches through the week too.
• My husband and children have their "quality" time each evening. They play with my son's cars and Playstation, do board games and watch cartoons together.
• As a working mother of three, I find that sitting down together at the dinner table every night gives us a chance to communicate. Sometimes that is the only time we spend with all of us together. I enjoy finding out how my children's day went at school and how dad's day was at work. We use this time to bond with each other.