Family Stories & History: A Family Dinner Table Talk

08/03/2011 03:34 pm ET | Updated Oct 03, 2011

This week's Family Dinner Table Talk, from HuffPost and The Family Dinner book:

There's a lot to be thankful for at regular family dinners: eating a home-cooked meal, connecting with your family and sharing stories about your day. But along with delicious food, something else is served up that is equally as important: learning about your family history.

When we stop having meals together, we tend to stop sharing those stories. Researchers have found that dinnertime is the most common time to share stories and histories about family and ancestry. It is precisely this knowledge -- the knowledge of where grandma and grandpa came from, what their jobs were, where they lived -- that helps to build resilience and self-esteem in kids.

So for today's Family Dinner Table Talk, lets ask some questions and play the do-you-know game! Here are a few to get you started!

Do you know how your grandparents met? Do you know what countries your ancestors are from? Do you know how your ancestors first arrived in the United States? Do you know what your mom and dad's first jobs were? Do you know the names of their pets growing up? Do you know what was going on in the world when you were born? Can you draw a family tree?

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In her new cookbook, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."

We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie and every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.

To see last week's Family Dinner Download, click here.

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For more tips and recipes, check out The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time by Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt (

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