PARENTS
01/03/2014 04:48 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Table Talk: Family Dinners As An American Tradition

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

Topic: Why families sit down and eat together

Story to read: Most U.S. Families Still Routinely Dine Together at Home

What to say to your kids: Did you sit down to eat a large meal with your family this holiday season? If so, you are not alone. Whether it was for a Hanukkah feast, a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or just a normal supper, sitting with your family for a meal is very common for Americans. According to a recent Gallup poll, on average, 56 percent of families with children under 18 eat dinner together six or seven times a week -- and there's no indication that that number is decreasing.

HuffPost Parents gets why family dinners are so great. Besides yummy food and time with loved ones, it helps us become closer and healthier -- and gives you the chance to discuss different topics. But as we begin a new year of Table Talk stories, we want to hear from you.

Tonight, let's talk about why sitting down to dinner with your family is important to you.

Questions for discussion:
  • Why do you think families want to eat dinner together as opposed to breakfast or lunch?
  • Do you think holidays encourage or discourage families from sitting down and having a meal together? What's it like in your family?
  • We've done a lot of Table Talk stories in the past year. What has been your favorite one to talk about?

In her 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.

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via the 2013 'Kids Count' Report

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