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Local Mom Encourages Families to Dine in Together Sept. 24

Karen Smith started the "Reclaim Dinner" challenge after seeing her own family eat out nearly four times per week due to always being on the go, tired, or bored with trying to come up with dinner ideas.

Karen Smith and her family went from eating out most nights of the week to now eating in nearly 90 percent of the time. 

"When we realized what all that eating out was doing for our health and then started reading about the benefits of family dinners for kids, we made a commitment to start eating at home one more time each week," explained Smith.  

Smith said eating dinner around the dining room table each night has brought her family of four, including teenage daughters, closer together. "What it's done for our family has been tremendous, bringing us closer, providing an opportunity to connect every day, opening up conversations, laughing together, time to just slow down and remember why we like being a family. Not to mention, the health benefits."  Her family now eats a variety of greens, veggies, and grains that she said they wouldn't have touched years ago. "It's pretty amazing to see the transformation right before your eyes," added Smith.

Smith hopes one thousand other families will "Reclaim Dinner" with her on Monday Sept. 24. 

"As parents, we need to model the importance of slowing down, checking in with each other, eating something good, laughing, and sharing every day. If we don't, our kids won't know how to do that in their own lives when they grow up," said Smith.

Smith is providing tips, strategies, conversation starters, social sharing, recipes and lots of fun stuff to help kick-start a renewed commitment to family dinner at reclaimdinner.com.

If you are stuck for an idea of what to serve on Monday, Smith suggests trying this recipe:

thekitchenskinnymenus.com/black-bean-jalapeno-burgers-sweet-potato-fries-2/

Smith told Carlsbad Patch the Black Bean Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries dinner is so good, "our daughters have been known to turn down dates when we're having that for dinner!" 

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