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Make The Most Of Family Dinnertime

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KFC Family Dinner Report Reveals The Truths About Family Meal Occasions, Tips From Traditions Expert Meg Cox.

(NAPSA) - Author and traditions expert Meg Cox says dinnertime family rituals are key to building bonds and defining relationships. As she writes in her new book, The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Everyday, such customs provide a sense of comfort and help generate lifelong memories.

According to KFC's Family Dinner Report, while 71 percent of families in America eat dinner together more than four times a week, only one in four celebrate dinnertime rituals. In her book, Cox suggests ideas for creating relevant traditions that work with the demanding times and changing needs of today's families.

Tips for Creating Family Rituals

"Families should try to have at least one solid 'connection ritual' each day," says Cox. "The dictionary says a ritual is 'an action repeated,' and that's what makes them so special."

While Cox lists many rituals in her book, here are a few of her favorites:

Tip #1: "Indoor Picnics"

Get out your picnic blanket and plastic dishes and move dinner from the table to the floor for the ultimate Indoor Picnic. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen preparing dinner, pick-up a home-style meal from KFC featuring family favorites including chicken and side dishes like BBQ baked beans and corn on the cob. It's the perfect fare for the occasion and the whole family is guaranteed to have a blast.

Tip #2: "Toast Night"

Don't get hung up on preparing elaborate meals. Sixty-five percent of parents said their families would eat dinner together more if they could decrease the meal preparation time. So, instead of spending hours in the kitchen, bring in take-out or prepare a simple meal and serve it on your "fancy" dishes or china. The only catch? Require that each family member make a toast before digging in.

Tip #3: "Conversation-in-a-Jar"

Since more than 50 percent of families talk about social or family plans at the dinner table, make it possible for family members to share new thoughts, opinions and discoveries with each other. One way to get the conversation rolling is to place a jar in the middle of the table full of offbeat topics. At dinner, each family member picks a topic and starts the conversation.


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