Family Dinner Traditions

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of Hidden Valley® Ranch. We are partnering with the makers of Hidden Valley® Ranch in celebration of family mealtimes while savoring it all: the little, big and chaotic moments of everyday life.

family dinner

If I’m good at one thing, it’s family traditions.

I knew right when we had kids that I wanted to create memories, and I wanted those memories to be of things that we do as a family. Next thing I knew we had created traditions and the girls were just as into them as I was.

Take family dinners for instance…

family dinner traditions

Food is serious business around here.

There isn’t a single one of us that doesn’t like to eat. I mean, we take it a step further than just liking to eat… we are foodies and a lot of our traditions are centered around food. It started when the girls were little and since neither of them were big eaters, Pete and I felt like we spent half of our lives sitting around the dining room table begging the girls to eat. Some nights that took 2+ hours. And really, that should have been a miserable time for all of us, but instead we felt like it was the only time we got to catch up with each other. Before we knew it we had created a new family tradition around the dinner table!

Eating, connecting with each other and just enjoying each other’s company at the same, dependable time each day.

hidden valley

Those early family dinners have evolved.

We still connect over food, and I still try to recreate those dinners of the past, but I’ve come to accept that with our busier lives we won’t always be able to sit at a table and eat each night. And that’s totally okay. Today’s dinners are pretty awesome too. Instead of begging my daughters to eat, I’m now busy begging them to share with me their lives. I want to hear all of the day’s highs and lows… and with the right food I normally can get it too. I’ve learned not to ask, “How was your day?” I now ask, “What made your day great?” Open-ended questions my friends, that is how you really get the answers you want.

hidden valley ranch cucumber

I’ve learned that as long as the food is good… the rest is easy.

Laughing, jokes and real sharing start to flow in…

family dinner time

These nights make me realize how important our dinnertime traditions really are.

It’s not just one part of our dinners that I love, it’s everything combined. Even when they start to shift to the silly side.

fun family dinners

I was so happy that we were all seated together around the table, but not 10 minutes later we seemed to shift to more comfortable accommodations. We all started together at the table and before any of us really realized it, Emmy had slowly moved to the family room and we all seemed to follow.  It’s the less than ideal moments that should be celebrated too!

Who cares where we eat as long as we are together!

real dinners

What I’ve learned is that our families might not always eat around a traditional dinner table, but with tips and inspiration from the Hidden Valley®  Savor It All program, we can turn daily gatherings into shared opportunities for building memories in our fast-paced and sometimes messy lives.

What dinnertime traditions did your family create so you can savor that time together? 

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Hidden Valley® Ranch. 

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • Family dinners are a tradition in our house. We all sit down and eat together every night; even if I have to cook early because of sports or music practice!

  • I am with you! Who care where you eat as long as it is together. We do eat away from the TV unless it is a special occasion and we talk to each other. You have such a cute family.

  • Family dinner is a tradition in our house as well. My husband and I are always busy with our respective careers, so dinner is the time when we really connect.

  • Too many families don’t eat together anymore. Life gets so busy it seems. I agree with asking open-ended questions. They are the best way to get a conversation going.

  • Because of my job, I eat out everyday, but each time I have a party I always have a FV Ranch dressing for those who like ranch dressing.

  • Family dinners aren’t an option in our house. It’s a requirement. I insist on them every single night, unless there is something big going on but even then we just do it earlier or later!

  • Family dinners are the best. They’ve definitely evolved for us over the years. We have some of our dinners in the family room too!

  • Eating dinner as a family is a must in my home. I didn’t have that as a kid so as an adult I’ve always made it a point to make sure it happens.

  • We try to eat together as much as possible. It’s such a special time together.

  • Yup, I am right there with you. I go out of my way for family dinners, even if we order in, we all sit-down and I make a nice salad to go with it. There is just something about connecting on a nightly basis that is so important

  • Growing up we always did highs, lows and thanks. We said a really good part of the day, a not so good part and then something we were thankful for. It encouraged us to have a conversation more than “what did you do today? “. I plan to continue this tradition with my son when he’s old enough.

  • It really is true about making having dinner together as a family a priority. Study after study proves that families to eat together regularly are more likely to develop long-lasting and meaningful relationships with each other even after they grow up and leave the house.

  • Ranch is a family favorite. There always needs to be a bottle in the house. I love ranch on anything and everything.

  • It’s important to have dinner traditions! Family time is the best time!

  • Family dinners are also a tradition in our home. Sometimes, we don’t realize we’ve been sitting on the table for a long time just talking about how our day went.

  • Food is serious business. It is the topic of conversation many times during the day at my house. My boys love Ranch and you can never go wrong with Hidden Valley.

  • These are such cute pictures! I love how the little one is in focus in the last one! We love Hidden Valley products too and eat them frequently.

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