By Leslie Goldman
Once upon a time families regularly sat down for dinner together. Everyone ate the same food and there were no BlackBerries dinging or reality TV shows blaring in the background. At today's kitchen table, the scenario tends to be quite different: One kid is likely off at soccer practice or an SAT prep course, a newly vegetarian teen may be pushing the tofu you prepared especially around her plate, and someone (maybe even Dad) is bound to be texting before dessert is even finished.
But eating dinner -- in spite of the distractions -- is still one of the healthiest things families can do together. In fact, a 2009 study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health shows that the more family suppers a teen partakes in, the less her risk of marijuana use, running away from home, binge-drinking, and more. And recent research in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that young children have a lower risk for obesity if they regularly engage in eating dinner as a family. That's why Motherboard Moms are eager to discover ways to better engage their kids at the dinner table, and to make supper a peaceful, pleasant, family-affirming affair -- even in these complicated times.