Family Dinners Make Our Nights

Family dinners are part and parcel of my family’s life. Why are they so special? Find out in this post sponsored by Ragú.


It’s evening. The kids have set the table, and are carrying plates to the dining room. The glasses are full, and it’s time to sit down. This could be any night in our house.

We settled in, and inevitably, I say, “Okay, dig in.” So everyone does.

Some nights, it’s just the kids and I. Other nights, it’s all four of us. Really, it’s whoever is home when dinner is ready. Because family dinner happens even when one parent has to work late — at least in our house. That’s just how we roll.

“Will, what did you do in school today,” Paige asks. She’s interested. Honestly interested in what her big brother learned in class. When he answers, she asks for more — more details, more things he did, more information.

Breakfast for dinner

Family dinner is something that’s deeply woven into our family fabric. Ever since the kids were mere babies, we have gathered around the table every night for dinner and conversation. And as the kids entered school — first preschool and then elementary school — we brought them more and more into the conversation, encouraging them to share their days.

At some point, Paige started asking Will before Shawn or I could. She jumped in and became a central part of every dinnertime conversation. I think it’s all sorts of awesome — Seeing your six-year-old so invested into things that matters is amazing.

Eventually someone asks Paige about her day too and it’s like she’s been waiting for that moment all evening. She bubbles over with stories and details from her busy day in school. Paige loves chatting about the things she’s learned and what she and her friends did. The conversation doesn’t end there … they ask me about my day, and Shawn if he’s there too. Sometimes we talk about what we’re going to do over the weekend or the adventures of the previous weekend. Other times, they beg for funny stories of their babyhood or when the dogs were puppies.

This is the very essence of family dinners — the give and take, sharing of our lives, the laughter that comes with it all.

When Ragú asked me to write about how important family meals are to my family, I immediately thought of the conversations that happen around our table. And I thought of all the laughs and jokes we share. Conversations are so important to family meals because they are what bring families together. With lives pulled in 20 directions, there’s something comforting about knowing at the end of the day, you will have that chance to connect and share.

Family meals have always been important in my life. Growing up, my family always ate together. We always chatted around the table and always shared our lives over dinner. In fact, as I hit my teen years and life got more and more busy, many of those nights included easy meals — like pasta with roasted veggies and Ragú. It was always a staple in our house. Since I didn’t eat meat for many of my teen years, easy dinner with Ragú offered us a meal our whole family could enjoy together without special accommodations being made.

Are family meals important to you? Are you a family that talks over dinner?

Special thanks to Ragú for asking me to write about this. Also, the company wanted me to share this with you: “With 11 tomatoes in every jar, Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce is our richest, thickest recipe* ever.”

You might want to check out the Ragú Better and Better Sweepstakes for a chance to win great Authentic Italian themed prizes, including a grand prize trip to Venice for a family of four! How awesome would it be to share a family dinner … in Venice?!?

Also, if you are looking for tasty, easy recipes, check out Ragú’s Facebook page.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragú® Official New Tra-Dish. The opinions and text are all mine.