Community nutritionist Linda Boyd and local social potluck creator Gabe Newman prepare for the Community Family Dinner at Caetani House.

Community nutritionist Linda Boyd and local social potluck creator Gabe Newman prepare for the Community Family Dinner at Caetani House.

Sit down for a family dinner

Families are encouraged to gather for an Italian style meal at the Caetani Cultural Centre on May 4 as part of Unplug and Play Week

Editor’s note: The following is from the North Okanagan Early Childhood Development Coalition.

Unplug, eat together and talk. There aren’t many things you can do as a parent that are as powerful as eating together with your children.

The North Okanagan Early Childhood Development Coalition has partnered with the Caetani House to plan and host an exciting community family dinner to do just that. This fun-filled, family event will be held in the beautiful gardens of the Caeteni Cultural Centre on May 4.

Families will sit down together to enjoy a feast of spaghetti and meatballs, salad and healthy dessert served family style, and in true Italian spirit, lots of talking and laughing. Conversation starters and belly laughs will be inspired by local story teller and Social Potluck creator Gabe Newman.

Christine Pilgrim (aka Miss Juul) will lead the play of old-fashioned outdoor games that artist Sveva Caetani may have played as a child. Guests will also be invited to help create beautiful floral centre pieces to decorate the tables and create their own keepsake placemats to take home.

Tickets for the Community Family Dinner are $10 each or $25 for a family of four, $5 for each additional child. Tickets are available at the Okanagan Science Centre in Polson Park.

For more information, contact Lynne Reside at 250-938-5450 or coordinator@noecdcoalition.ca. This family-friendly event is part of Unplug and Play week April 27 to May 4.

The benefits of eating together include:

Better nutrition

Increased social skills

Increased vocabulary

Greater success at school

Less likely to engage in risky behaviors like doing drugs, using alcohol, or smoking

Most important, eating together can help increase family connectedness by providing a secure environment for kids to talk with you on a regular basis. It’s never too early or too late to start making family meals a tradition in your house. For more information on getting your family more involved with cooking and eating together follow the blog and find great recipes at http://bettertogetherbc.ca/