Healthy, strong family relationships are foundational to young people’s growth, learning, and well-being.

 

These relationships build strong social and emotional strengths that kids use throughout their lives.

 

But great family relationships don’t just happen..

 

 

Welcome to My Discovery Destination!

Discovery Family Adventures

where your family can find plenty of opportunities to

 

The Discovery Family Adventures provide ideas, activities, and experiences to help build strong family relationships.

 

Our goal is to strengthen family relationships to help kids be and become their best selves

and to support parents in raising happy, successful, resilient kids in an exciting,

but sometimes turbulent and dangerous world.

***IMPORTANT UPDATE***

 

For 2022 all reporting will be done via the Discovery Hunt (Goosechase) App.

 

The Adventures will be available via the website for use by anyone that wants them, but everyone is encouraged to use the Discovery Hunt (Goosechase) App to qualify for the Family Reward Events and prizes.

 

Get links for downloading the App HERE.

Sponsored by:

 

Choose from the Adventures listed below

 

(or design your own family adventure!)

 

Not sure how the Discovery Family Program works?

 

 

OFTEN!

Event

Use this quick action plan to be prepared:

 

Take a few minutes to contemplate the following questions as a reflection of your current dinnertime conversations. Chat with a partner or friend, ponder the questions mentally during your next long drive, or pull out a journal and write about them:

 

 

  1. What does our current dinnertime look like?

  2. How can we make the commitment to eat together more? at least a few times a week?

  3. Can we also make the commitment to make those meals electronic free?

  4. What are some parts of my child’s life I’d like to know more about?

  5. What is one question I think would be a successful way to open conversation?

 

 

The Ongoing Action Plan:

 

After reflecting on your current dinner conversations and what room you may have to make changes and looking at the other information below, it’s time to put a plan into action!

 

 

Take the next few weeks using the following steps:

 

  1. Over the next week, pick one or two of the questions below, or from the Chit Chat Adventure, to inject into your mealtime conversations.

  2. Talk with your family about what days and meals you will eat together and the expectations about electronics.

  3. Come to the table, ready to be engaged, ready to listen and respond.

  4. After a week, reflect on your family mealtime conversations. Have they improved? Which questions sparked discussion? Which questions fell flat?

 

 

 


Family Adventure

GOAL:  Eat Together as often as possible!

 

 

The ADVENTURE:

Review the following information together and then use some of the suggestions below to make the most of meal time . . . and Remember: Eat meals together as a family as often as possible!

 

 

TIPS:

 

  If the whole family eats dinner together for one week (or a set number of days in a row) you celebrate with something your kids will really look forward to-- movie night at the theatre or at home, special dessert, etc.  Decide as a family what the reward will be.

 

  The family member(s) who eat dinner with the rest of the family the most during each week get to . . . choose dessert, choose the menu the next week, skip dish duty, stay up an extra 1/2 hour. This could even be different for each child if there are different privileges that the kids would respond to.

 

The key, of course, is to make it something that they will really look forward to.

 

 

This is the second of the two challenges I mentioned we would be challenging you to do on a regular and frequent basis.  For this Adventure we recommend a minimum of 4 times per week (daily is better!), and it is about as simple as they come-- yet thousands of families miss this easy way to protect their loved ones.

 

 

Eat Meals Together!!

 

 

Every prevention program out there will list eating meals together as a family among the top prevention tools available to parents.  I can't think of any other action that brings so many BENEFITS for so little EFFORT (not that cooking meals doesn't take effort! Please don't misunderstand what I'm saying!)

 


WHY EAT TOGETHER?


 

Besides the obvious fact that family time is important for bonding, here are other research-backed benefits to eating together:

 

Physical health:

  • Meals tend to be more balanced and nutritious, containing the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables.
  • People eat slower and talk more, which allows more time for digestion and helps prevent overeating because there is more time to recognize fullness.
  • Kids who eat with their family are exposed to a wider variety of foods and become less picky.

 

 

Mental and emotional health:

  • It’s much-needed time to catch up, reconnect, and find out what’s happening in your children’s lives. This builds closer bonds and you recognize potential issues your children may be having.
  • Through this time together, kids build greater self-esteem and parents are able to role model healthy behaviors, whether it’s choosing nutritious foods or problem-solving a conflict.
  • Kids and teens who eat family meals may earn higher grades in school, experience fewer symptoms of depression, and are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, like drug use.

 

 

Improved Vocabulary and Communication Skills:

  • For kids in early childhood, family meals help develop language and social skills.
  • Discussion during family dinners can actually help our children’s language skills, as they listen and engage in conversation. Not only are we getting to know one another better, but parents are also promoting a higher-level vocabulary to our children.

 

 

It Saves Money!— potentially quite a bit, depending on how frequently your family eats outside the home.

 

 

 


MAKE THE MOST OF FAMILY MEALS


 

Make the most of family meals

 

Here are some tips for getting even more out of family meals:

 

  1. Share the responsibilities among the whole family: food prep, table-setting, and clean-up.
  2. Give Choices! Let everyone choose their own seats.
  3. Keep it screen-free!  Put the screens in another room.
  4. Set a schedule for which nights you will all eat together (make it as often as possible!), and keep to the schedule.
  5. If dinners are too hard, try family breakfasts or weekend lunches.

 

 


AN ADVENTURE MATCH!


 

Got some free time this weekend? Take the kids shopping with you to help pick out items they’d like to eat for an upcoming family meal—then enjoy your time together! You could even combine the GROCERY SHOPPING: Money Smart Kids Adventure with this and earn MORE POINTS.

 

 

 

 


BONUS INFORMATION


 

Here is another list of  9 science-based reasons why family dinners are important..  Links to the research are located below.

 

1. FAMILY DINNERS MEAN BETTER FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Eating meals together has the potential to strengthen family bonds as it provides a daily time for the whole family to be together. For younger children, routine family meals can provide a sense of security and a feeling of belonging.

 

2. FAMILY MEALS LEAD TO HEALTHIER FOOD CHOICES

Eating family dinners is associated with healthy dietary food patterns.  Matthew W. Gillman, MD, the lead researcher in a key research project on the topic, noted that family dinners allow for both "discussions of nutrition [and] provision of healthful foods."

 

3.  EATING AS A FAMILY LEADS TO BETTER GRADES

Studies have proven that there’s a significant link between family dinners and academic performance. Only 9% of teens who ate frequently with their families did poorly in school, according to the report.

 

4. FAMILY DINNERS ARE A CHANCE TO EXPLORE NEW FOODS

Family meals have proven to be perfect opportunities for parents to expose children to different foods and expand their tastes.

 

5. FAMILY DINNERS LEAD TO GREATER HAPPINESS

Research examining 5,000 teenagers has shown that when children eat with their parents regularly, they are more likely to be emotionally strong and have better mental health. Teens who ate regular family meals were also more likely to be adjusted, have good manners and communication skills. This effect is not restricted to the children - mothers who ate with their families often were also found to be happier and less stressed as compared to mothers who did not.

 

6. HOMEMADE MEALS PROMOTE PORTION CONTROL

The average restaurant meal has as much as 60% more calories than a homemade meal. Combine the fact that portions served in restaurants are continuing expand with the fact that when we’re presented with more food, we’re more likely to eat more food, and it becomes clear that eating at home is simply healthier.

 

7.  FAMILY DINNERS EQUAL HEALTHY KIDS

When families eat together, young children are less likely to be overweight or obese because these children eat regular, nutritious, home cooked meals, and also help in making or serving those meals.

 

8. FAMILY DINNERS RELIEVE STRESS

If you have a demanding job, finding time to eat with your family may actually leave you feeling less stressed. In 2008, researchers at Brigham Young University conducted a study of IBM employees and found that sitting down to a family meal helped working moms reduce the tension and strain from long hours at the office.

 

9. EATING AT HOME SAVES MONEY

In 2007, the average household spent $3,465 on meals at home, and $2,668 on meals away from home, according to the national Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Per meal, that’s about $8 per meal outside of the home, and only about $4.50 per meal made in your own kitchen.

 

Click here to get links to the research above.

 

 

 


10 questions to make family dinner time a time to connect and communicate


 

1. What was the best part of your day? What was the most difficult part of your day?

2. What did you enjoy learning about today?

3. What do you like about it?

4. What made you laugh today?

5. How is [friend’s name] doing?

6. How can I help?

7. If you were to choose any song to sum up your day, what would it be?

8. Do you want to help me make dinner?

9. What do you think is worth remembering about today?

10. What are you excited about for tomorrow

 

 

 

 

Pre-K Adventure

Even your youngest Adventurers will LOVE helping with meal time and participating in meal time. Be sure to involve them every step of the way at a level appropriate for their age and ability.

 

 

 

Community Engagement Adventure

 

Ready to take family meals to a whole new level for triple the points? 

 

Here are some ideas:

 

 

 Work together to plan the menu

 

 Work together to cook the meal!

 

 Together, research proper etiquette for a table and then set the table properly.

 

 With the table set properly you may want to prepare a 7-course meal. You could let each member of the family be in charge of  choosing one or two courses.

 

 Cook a meal for a shut-in neighbor or family member who could use a little pick-me-up.

 

 Invite another family over to enjoy a meal with you.

 

 

 

 

Teen Adventure

Teens play a key role in the success of this Adventure!  It is often the teens' schedules and activities outside the home that make eating together as a family challenging. Enlist your teen as a key partner and give them an important role to play in making family dinner time happen successfully.

 

Here are some ideas to get started:

 

Let your Teen take the lead in scheduling a minimum of 4 family dinners each week (more if possible!) Encourage them to look at everyone's schedule.

 

Assign your teen 1 or 2 nights per week that they get to choose, and even prepare, the meal.

 

Let your teen be in charge of leading a game of 'Chit Chat' over dinner. Let them choose the questions and the method.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Location

Take a selfie of your family around the kitchen table enjoying a home-cooked meal together. Post it to your social media sites with the hashtags #DiscoveryFamily, #MyDiscoveryDestination and #Wattson

by Eat Together!




 

NOTE: If the Adventures don't show up find them at DiscoveryFamilyAdventures.com



Check back often as we will post new Adventures every week

 

Not sure how the Discovery Family Program works?

   

 

Discovery Family Program How-To Visual

 

 

My Discovery Destination! Adventures

Sponsored by My Discovery Destination! and  local businesses and organizations in your community

for the purpose of

STRENGTHENING FAMILIES and BUILDING CHARACTER.

Send an email to Sharilee@MyDiscoveryDestination.com if you would like to learn how we can bring a wide variety of FUN and educational LIVE EVENTS to your community!