Supper with the Kids!

Chuck Colson penned a great column this week about the importance of the family supper hour. He cited these statistics from recent studies by the National Center of Addition and Substance Abuse at Columbia University and The National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health:

  • Teens who have dinner with their parents three of fewer times a week are four times more likely to smoke, twice as likely to drink, two-and-a-halt time more like likely to use marijuana, and four times more likely to say they will use drugs.
  • Fourteen percent of twelve to fourteen years who don’t regularly eat dinner with their families report drinking at least once a month. Twenty-seven percent say they think about suicide. The percentage is drastically reduced for kids who have regular suppers with their families.

Supper isn’t just for eating; it’s for talking, laughing, bonding, and staying in contact with those who mean the most to us. And in case you need a quick recipe, here’s my take on sloppy joes. It goes all the way back to my first attempt at cooking as a boy (your kids could do this with their eyes closed). There are loads of variations, but here’s what I do:

  • Sauté one large chopped onion and one large shredded carrot in butter.
  • Add lean ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey and brown thoroughly.
  • Add equal amounts of A-1 and ketchup to taste, plus a generous splash of Worcestershire sauce or a modest dash of Tabasco sauce.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Simmer as long as possible.
  • Serve on a whole wheat bun or over baked potatoes.

And the easiest way to bake a potato is to microwave it 6 minutes (stab it with a fork first), then turn it over for another 6 minutes, then bake it in a hot oven for half an hour. Comes like like a charm.