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Mom entrepreneur adds fun to dinner time

Saturday, October 4, 2008
As a busy mom entrepreneur, it can sometimes be difficult to gather the family together at dinner time. Client projects, swimming lessons, PTA and other things can distract from this important time of the day. My family tries very hard to stay faithful to the tradition of eating together.

Recently, I discovered two things that help to make dinner time more fun for my kids who are 8 and 4 years old. Mat Chats, created by Lisa Brown, promote open discussion with family. This product comes in eight themes or discussion topics: Attitude, Gratitude, Health, Reflection, Friendship, Fun/Work, Mindfulness and Vision. Each paper mat has an inspirational quote as well as four discussion questions. The mats come in packages of eight and retail for $14.95.

As an example, I have the Friendship Mat Chat. Following are the questions it asks:

  1. What characteristics do you look for when choosing a friend?
  2. Describe why you are a good friend to have?
  3. If you are feeling blue, who do you want to be with you? Why?
  4. Tell the person sitting to your left what makes them a good friend.

Mat Chats was a team effort between Lisa and her two kids, ages 9 and 11 when the project began. Lisa is a widow and a psychiatric nurse practitioner who understands first-hand how important it is to communicate with kids.

Kudos to Lisa and family for creating this concept. Quality family time is so important and having something fun like Mat Chats to encourage your kids to discuss important topics is fantastic. I think a washable plastic version of the mats so it can be used again, would also be a great idea.

The other item my kids love is the new Betty Crocker Warm Delights Minis. This 150 calorie, microwaveable cake is oh so good! The product comes in a little bowl and you stir together the cake mix with water and then squeeze a packet of fudge on top. Then microwave for 30 seconds, top with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and enjoy. Tonight we decoarated ours with colored sprinkles as well.

Both my kids enjoy cooking, and with this dessert they are in control. They can make the dessert themselves, cook it and feel proud about their creation. And I can feel proud that I am only consuming 150 calories, which can be burned off at the gym in 15 minutes on the Precor!

Dinner time has always been quality family time for us, but thanks to Mat Chats and Betty Crocker, it is even more fun.

Is there a product you use that makes dinner time more fun for your family? Please share.