Family Dinners Don’t Have To Be So Stressful

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Lately, there has been some pushback on the idea of the home-cooked meal as a way to address the nation’s obesity problem.  It seems to have started with a recent study by three North Carolina State University sociologists entitled “The Joy of Cooking.”  Their argument is that the vision of a parent regularly cooking food for a sit-down family meal is burdensome and elitist.  It’s burdensome in that it creates expectations that don’t match the reality of many parents’ lives.  It’s elitist in that these expectations are especially unattainable by families with significant financial insecurity.

According to the authors, the “foodie-intellectuals” responsible for this vision simply don’t understand the daily challenges many parents face.  Instead of urging families to cook at home, the authors want to find “more creative solutions for sharing the work of feeding families.”

Unfortunately, the solutions they propose range from the merely unrealistic – monthly town suppers and healthy food trucks — to the truly bizarre – schools offering “to-go meals” that can be taken home and heated up at night.  Schools are already struggling to provide their students with healthy lunches.   Why in the world would we want to burden them with the new responsibility of providing entire families with healthy dinners? Read More