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Get ready for Family Day
Donna Krug

Hectic work schedule? Busy with after-school activities? Do outside influences interfere with your family’s dinnertime? Mark Monday, Sept. 24, on your calendar and get ready to celebrate Family Day.

For the past 12 years, the fourth Monday of September has been noted as Family Day, a national effort to promote family dinners as an effective way to reduce youth substance abuse and other risky behaviors. Research by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University consistently finds that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs.

It sounds like a simple task to gather the family together for supper around the table and catch up on the day’s activities. Although our nest has been empty for a few years, I still remember the crazy schedules when three kids were heading three different directions. Still, the importance of these 20-30 minutes of each day cannot be overlooked. Get out the calendar and protect the days that eating supper together as a family will work. 

Plan a meal that is simple and nutritious so the focus can be on family communication. Adding a salad to a crock pot meal or preparing a quick stir fry served with brown rice is an easy way to feed a hungry family without slaving in the kitchen. Involve family members in choosing the foods that are served; this helps ensure they will be eager eaters at mealtime.

If you live near the Hays community, you have an opportunity to participate in the Family Day Make and Take Pizza event. In its 11th year, this fun event is sponsored by the Cottonwood Extension District, Hays Kiwanis and Papa Murphy’s Pizza. Interested families need to call or come by the Extension office located at 601 Main Street in Hays to sign up and pay for the pizza. Pizzas will cost $2.50 each and there is a limit of 2 per family. Family and Consumer Science teachers from Hays High and our FCS Program Development Committee will be helping to coordinate the event. The number of pizzas available is limited so call today.

A final reminder with Family Day is to ask family members to turn off technology. This helps to maintain an uninterrupted dinner and focus on what is important; each other! Let me know how Family Day, (Sept. 24th) goes at your house.

Donna Krug is the Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. Contact her at 620-793-1910 or