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Friday, May 8, 2009

Stouffer's Lets Fix Dinner Challenge and Give Away!


I recently had the opportunity to visit Stouffer's at the Nestle Culinary Center in Solon, Ohio. I had a wonderful time catching up with some of my bloggy buddies, including several of the ElevenMoms and meeting new blogging friends as well!

The reason Stouffer's invited us all out was to discuss the Family Dinner at a blogger roundtable. Although my son is only 9 weeks old my husband and I have already had several conversations about how we intend to raise our son including keeping the lines of communication open and making time for one another and our kids in this fast paced society.

Sitting down to a family meal was important to me growing up. My mom always made a healthy meal for our family five to seven nights a week. This was a special time that my parents took the time to talk to my brother and I about our day. I remember our family dinners quite fondly because my parents made it a relaxing time to enjoy one another - no rush to jump up and do something else. The family dinner was so important to me growing up that I am making it my goal to duplicate this for my own family now. This may mean saying no to some engagements and prioritizing after school activities.

Family meal time is a priority to me because it gives us a chance to talk to one another and connect - but it is also a way to save money! Eating at home cost less than eating out. However, after listening to several wonderful speakers at Stouffer's I learned that family meal time (be it dinner - or breakfast or lunch) has a bigger impact than even I knew. Some of the eye-opening facts I learned were:

  • Teens who have frequent family dinners are more likely to say thier parents are very proud of them.
  • Teens who have frequent family dinners are liklier oto say they get mostly A's and B's in school
  • The more often teens have dinner with thier families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use drugs.
  • Teens who have frequent family dinners are likelier to say thier parents are the adults they would go to if they had a serious problem.
Now these facts are focusing on those strange animals we call "teenagers" - the members of our family that can be the toughest to interact with - who knew dinner time could be so important to the development of your teenager!

But, family meal time is important at an early age too! Did you know that family meal time is more important to developing vocabulary than story time! WHOA! As a teacher who knows the importance of reading to your children I was floored by this finding!

Family dinner can seem like a daunting task. Especially when you've got kids coming in saying their starving, your pooped from a long day at work, and your kids have after school activities that keep you running all over town.


For those of us who find getting dinner to the table a chore, here are some tips for getting dinner to the table from Top Chef's Antonia Lofaso:

1. Plan a basic menu for the week, shopping all at once, so you don’t have to make many trips to the store. This way, when your kids ask “What’s for dinner?” you have an answer.

2. Keep your refrigerator organized by separating dairy, proteins, veggies, etc. This ensures that you prevent spoilage and know exactly what you have to work with.

3. Have key “go to” ingredients with longer shelf lives in the freezer, refrigerator and pantry.

4. Use a crock pot. Start a stew in the morning, leave it, and by the time you come home, it’s ready!

5. Have themed nights with interchangeable proteins. Example: ground chicken for a meatloaf can be used for tacos the next night.

6. Make Friday pizza night! STOUFFER’S French Bread Pizza with a vegetable salad is quick and easy!

7. Set aside one day a month to prepare a couple of homemade meals that can be frozen and used later in the month, like soups and stews.

8. Let the kids help! Create good habits by letting them make the salad and set the table.

9. Keep it simple! Thirty minutes or less is plenty of time to prepare a delicious meal. You will have more time with your family and for yourself.

10. Cook larger portions so you have leftovers the next day. For example, Turkey Bolognese is perfect as a Sloppy Joe for lunch the next day.

I hope you will find time to have a family meal (be it dinner or Saturday brunch) at least three times a week. And, if you are up to the challenge, go check out Stouffer's Let's Fix Dinner Challenge!

All you have to do is:
1. Register your family HERE
2. Set a weekly goal to be entered in their sweepstakes
3. Update your family dinner status each week to be entered to win even more prizes!

And, because I believe that having family meal time is so important...
I am giving away 5 sets of 5 Stouffer's coupons to 5 lucky readers thanks to my friends at Stouffer's!

Stouffer's has a goal of reaching 1 million family dinners by 9/28/09 - so to qualify for the prize you MUST go enter the Let's Fix Dinner Challenge HERE. Once you have entered your family come back and leave a comment here telling me you did so. You'll be doing your family a favor and you'll be entered to win some fabulous prizes besides the ones here!

YOU MUST DO THE ABOVE TO QUALIFY - Then you can do any or all of these things for EXTRA ENTRIES!!
  • Tweet about this give away (up to once per day!). Grab this and post it on Twitter: @CentsibleSawyer is givin away Stouffer's coupons 2 5-winners Enter at: http://tinyurl.com/rdyenz & take Stouffer's #letsfixdinner challenge
  • How does your family do family meal time? Leave a comment telling us something about your family's meal time - a challenge, a tip, a fun thing you do... ANYTHING!
  • Grab my button and post it on your side bar or add a text link to this blog on your side bar - then come back and leave a separate comment.
  • Blog about this give away and leave a link in the comments section here.
  • Email 5 friends and tell them about this give away and copy it to me at denisesawyer at gmail dot com.
  • Subscribe to my feed - you'll get updates in your favorite reader or delivered to your email! You'll be notified when their is a new post - so you'll always be up on the current deals! Leave a separate comment telling me you did so.
You have until Friday, May 15 at 11:59 pm EST to enter. On Saturday, May 16 I will choose 5 winners via random.org and post is here! Be sure to subscribe to my feed so you don't miss your name!

84 Comments:

Chris in TN said...

I registered and I already am a subscriber.

Chris in TN said...

My family does mealtime by making sure all 3 of us are there. If our son has sports practice, we eat later. We make it a point to eat together as often as possible. :)

Thanks for this great giveaway!

Stephanie said...

Great giveaway! I am registered! We almost always eat together as a family anyways, but this is a good reminder of the importance.

Mrspoofa said...

We normally all eat together at least 4 nights a week. It's my husbands job that holds us up. He's been filling in on 2nd shift--yuck. Signed up for the challenge.
Mrspoofa@aol.com

Emily said...

I signed up for the challenge!
bybee.emily@gmail.com

Emily said...

My tip for families is to cut out all distractions during dinner. Turn the TV off, no internet, and no answering the phone or texting.

I have your button & I'm a subscriber!

judybrittle said...

I am registered for the Challenge under this email
judybrittle at aol dot com

judybrittle said...

I tweeted
http://twitter.com/kewpiedoll04/status/1742621396

judybrittle said...

We eat together 5 days a week and since the challenge we upped it to 6 going for 7. I love this idea!
We are guilty of watching tv while we eat but I do love hearing how everyone's day went.

judybrittle said...

I'm a subscriber.

andrea v said...

I've been entering this giveaway every saturday. thanks

andrea v said...

email subscriber

valerie2350 said...

I'm signed up :)

valerie2350 said...

http://twitter.com/valerie2350/status/1742750941

valerie2350 said...

subscribe

valerie2350 said...

button
http://sweeps4california.blogspot.com/

Stacey Moore said...

register!
thanks!
moore.g@insideconnect.net

Stacey Moore said...

tweet:
http://twitter.com/staceymoore/status/1742931177
thanks!
moore.g@insideconnect.net

Stacey Moore said...

subscriber!
thanks!
moore.g@insideconnect.net

Laurie said...

JUST SIGNED UP FOR THE CHALLENGE!
farmerjo78@yahoo.com

Laurie said...

Just subscribed to your feed!
farmerjo78@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Hate to leave a comment like this, but there are a few errors in your Stouffer's article. I know you are probably sleep deprived! I thought you would probably want to know. Keep up the super work!

Kristy said...

I signed up!

Kristy said...

We have a 2 year old and an 8 month old, so even if it's not their dinner time, we put them in their high chairs and at least all sit around the table at the same time.

Kristy said...

Subscriber!

VickieB said...

I'm entered at Stouffers

VickieB said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/vlbsweeps/status/1744125548

VickieB said...

button
http://vickieb52.blogspot.com/

VickieB said...

email subscriber

Lindsay said...

I just signed up for it! You're very generous and kind, setting up this contest =) Thank you, Centsible

The email I used: landseaauto@gmail.com

Lindsay said...

I tweeted it: http://twitter.com/Just_Words

Also, I'm not quite sure what I do with that button! LOL! Maybe I'll figure it out....

Here's my TIP for family dining: TURN OFF THE TV! Lol! That's an obvious one, though.

Also: rather than hound your children with questions (it seems to bother mine), I find it best to try to share things with them that might provoke thought in them or simply make them laugh. Laughing during dinner and having a good time is honestly more important than anything to me

Anonymous said...

My daughters and I go shopping for
the menu we want to have for dinner, then we take the groceries home and fix the dinner together.
Luckily I have two daughters now if
I only had a son or two to do the
lawnwork.

Renita
renitahegner@yahoo.com

twocuff said...

I signed up!!

twocuff said...

We sit down as a family and try not to let anything interrupt us - we don't even answer the phone!

twocuff(at)precisionvarminting(dot)com

valerie2350 said...

http://twitter.com/valerie2350/status/1746616134

Tara said...

I registered! What a great idea!

Tara said...

I subscribe!

taralyn.parker at gmail.com

Tara said...

I put together a meal plan for the week to ensure that we have something to eat and just don't grab as we go.

taralyn.parker at gmail.com

Tamara B. said...

I am registered and I updated my Let's Fix Dinner Challenge for the week.

Tamara B. said...

I am a subscriber.

Tamara B. said...

We try to eat at least five meals a week together and by registering on the Stouffer site we haven't missed a meal together yet. The other days we grab Wendy's

Luv'n Shop'n said...

I have your button.

Jk

Luv'n Shop'n said...

Blogged about this give away.

Luv'n Shop'n said...

We try to have a few nights where we everyone can "create" their own masterpiece and share their creations with the rest of us.

Luv'n Shop'n said...

I am registered and updated.

VickieB said...

5/10 tweet
http://twitter.com/vlbsweeps/status/1754461456

valerie2350 said...

http://twitter.com/valerie2350/status/1754978815

hondaray6 said...

I registered and took the challange!
hondaray6 at hotmail dot com

hondaray6 said...

I follow on twitter and tweeted
http://twitter.com/hondaray6/status/1755101017

hondaray6 said...

We make meal time more fun by involving everyone. Even the little ones can tear lettace up for a salad and set the silverware out. This also gives a chance for praise on a job well done.

hondaray6 said...

I have your button
http://dun4fun-hondaray6.blogspot.com/

hondaray6 said...

I subscribe via google reader
hondaray6 at hotmail dot com

Letherton said...

I signed up

ethertonphotography at gmail

Letherton said...

Im a subscriber

ethertonphotography at gmail

Alyssa @ KeepingTheKingdomFirst said...

I registered our family for the challenge!

Alyssa @ KeepingTheKingdomFirst said...

I am a subscriber, of course.

Alyssa @ KeepingTheKingdomFirst said...

You are on my blogroll!

VickieB said...

11 tweet
http://twitter.com/vlbsweeps/status/1763097128

deb thompson said...

I took the challenge.

deborah150 at hotmail dot com

deb thompson said...

Tip: Have the kids help prepare dinner...even little ones can do something. It makes it more fun if you are working together vs. slaving away in the kitchen by yourself.

deborah150 at hotmail dot com

deb thompson said...

Subscribe

deborah150 at hotmail dot com

valerie2350 said...

http://twitter.com/valerie2350/status/1763943828

Veronica L. said...

I definitely have entered at Stouffer's website. For my family especially since i have a 4 year old and a 2 year old, I let them help cook our dinner every night. Not only do I enjoy being with them, but they enjoy making their dinners. Thanks for a great giveaway :)

MrsCrum86 said...

I registered and am a current subscriber!!

Renee' Simmons said...

I registered at Stouffers! Thank you for giving your readers this fun opportunity!

Renee' Simmons said...

http://twitter.com/bearabledeals/status/1770224146 Contest has been tweeted!! Thanks

Dawn S said...

I registered and am a current subscriber!
Thanks!
Dawn S.
striblin@yahoo.com

Renee' Simmons said...

Our kids are 19 & 24. At least 2x a month we get together w/ them here or at a fun & different resturant (including their bf/gf). At home it would never be the same meal twice. One time I had seen a KIDS Smash Fight em type game on clearance for $2! I got and these adult kids played it like they were 6 yrs. old. Family dinners are what you make it! Have fun with it, create memories!

Renee' Simmons said...

Your button is here: www.bearabledeals.com/freebies.htm

Renee' Simmons said...

I am subscribed!! Keep up the great work!

VickieB said...

5/12 tweet
http://twitter.com/vlbsweeps/status/1772856109

valerie2350 said...

http://twitter.com/valerie2350/status/1773325279

hondaray6 said...

5/12 tweet http://twitter.com/hondaray6/status/1775564724

VickieB said...

http://twitter.com/vlbsweeps/status/1784765683

valerie2350 said...

http://twitter.com/valerie2350/status/1785452907

VickieB said...

http://twitter.com/vlbsweeps/status/1795334117

valerie2350 said...

http://twitter.com/valerie2350/status/1796757430

VickieB said...

5/15
http://twitter.com/vlbsweeps/status/1805823936

Carrie said...

Entered the challenge! Thanks
carrieandmike@gmail.com

Rebecca said...

Hi, we signed up!

Sashafras said...

I am registered!
sashafras @ yahoo .com

Sashafras said...

I have your button on my blog!

sharingthedeals.com

Sashafras said...

I have your button on my blog!

sharingthedeals.com

Sashafras said...

I am subscribed!

sashafras @ yahoo .com