Celebrating Love and Creating a Tradition: The Greatest Gift for Valentine’s Day

by Laura on January 29, 2012

in Traditions

CloseHeart400Valentine’s Day is the day of love – a time to show those close to you, your love for them. Traditionally, we do so by crafting hand-made Valentine cards and exchanging gifts such as candy, flowers, and sparkling jewelry. This Valentine’s Day, give your family the greatest gift of all – time together around the table.

Lately, we have heard a lot about the benefits of the family meal. “The family meal is an important part of the health of our family.” “The family meal is a time to refuel and reconnect.” “The family meal is good for our health – for the health of our bodies and the family unit.” And, according to research, kids are less likely to smoke, drink, do drugs, or to be depressed. Children are more likely to eat vegetables, enjoy a greater variety of foods; and expand their palates beyond the sweet, salty, and fatty tastes of fast food. Further, families who eat together on a consistent basis have more desire to share their daily experiences (good or bad).

Yes, it takes practice and persistence (and the Four Pillars) to get the family meal right, but why not start the tradition on a day when love is brought to the forefront?

Whether gathering at the table is an everyday occurrence, or a rare occasion, take the opportunity to start the Family Meal Tradition as you celebrate the love you have for each other.

Start by getting everyone involved in creating the Valentine’s Dinner meal. Choose a favorite family meal – mac and cheese, a delicious pasta dish, meatloaf, tacos, or fried chicken – and get into the kitchen together.

This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday. If a weekday is filled with late nights at work, homework or sports, making it hard to cook together, celebrate a couple of days early on the weekend. It is a great way to involve the entire family in the celebration – and to start a wonderful family tradition.

Heart250And, because our family is always clamoring for an end of dinner treat, we would be remiss if we didn’t offer up a few suggestions. Especially on Valentine’s Day, be sure to top off the meal with a special treat – a dessert that is sure to make everyone smile. One of our favorites is the Pizzelle S’mores –other favorites, chocolate mousse, or chocolate fondue, andchocolat au chocolat ice cream.

If you aren’t a chocolate lover, bake sugar cookies with a love theme – Rosanna’s delicious XOXO sugar cookies filled with ice cream are a wonderful way to say, “I love you.” Other non-chocolate dessert ideas include crock pot apple pie, or red, white and blue cream roll or Kahlua Bread Pudding.

Visit Rosanna’s blog, A Feast of Love, for great tips on creating a Valentine’s Day themed tablescape – and make your foray into the family meal tradition one that celebrates the love of the family.

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