How to Share at Family Dinners

… both food and food for thought!

My family has been doing something really cool lately. We’ve been playing with The Meal Box… “fun questions and family faith tips to get mealtime conversations cookin’.” Here, have a listen to one question we did this week (4:14 min.)


I want to invite you to join yet another conversation!!! 🙂 Actually, the authors of The Meal Box are inviting you. I’ll let Bret speak for himself!

Good morning!

I’m Bret Nicholaus, and I have to confess that I have an unusual passion: I just LOVE asking questions that help family members and friends learn fun and fascinating things about each other. I’ve been writing question books for the last 16 years, so this “interest” is nothing new. What IS new to me is the opportunity to interact with all of you via I can’t wait to get started and see where the questions—and ensuing conversations—lead.

Joining me will be Tom McGrath, who has written several books on family spirituality. Recently, Tom and I co-created The Meal Box: Fun Questions and Family Faith Tips to Get Mealtime Conversations Cookin’. Tom and I both believe that mealtime affords one of the best opportunities to help families grow in their love for one another and in their spiritual life—and a helpful way to do that is to begin with a FUN question!

So let’s get started with a question from The Meal Box. Send in your answers and we’ll get the conversation going!

If you could change one thing about the way your favorite holiday is celebrated, what would you change?

As you can tell from our audio, The Meal Box is a way that I connect with my kids. And I appreciate that fact that we talk over the meal I’ve prepared rather than just rushing off to the next activity. That in itself is worth it’s retail price of $9.95. Want to start some conversations around your dinner table?


You can win The Meal Box FREE by leaving a comment or audio comment below.

Loyola Press is also offering 30% off  The Meal Box for My Mommy Manual readers from 6/22 through 6/20. Please type in “mealbox” as the promotional code on their website.


  1. Good question, Bret. I suspect that it has a lot to do with the inner anticipation that the holidays hold–whatever holidays that are meaningful to us. It’s the same way getting ready for vacations. And I suspect that it might just be something we have to go through to get to the goodies of the holiday, the relaxation of vacation, or even meal time connection with people we care about. And perhaps it’s the avoidance of that in-between time (like entering a party where you know you’ll probably have a great time but aren’t sure if any of your friends are there yet) that keeps us from doing the things we know would be good for us and fun and in fact satisfying. Then again, it might be the chipmunks on the radio singing about their blasted hula hoop.

  2. Here’s a question: Is there some meal in your life that stands out head and shoulders above the rest? Maybe it was momentous or simple. With a big crowd or just one other person. Wanna share?

  3. Colleen says:

    I always think of the quasi- last meals. Before someone goes on a trip, dinner the last night on vacation, before someone goes off to college, even something as simple as the night before the first day of school. Those meals always have a sense of the next step and really can be markers in your life.

  4. Yes, there was a meal… in Portofino in 1999. We were the only table at the Restaurante Puny 🙂 and I had THE best pomodoro ever. We stayed for 2 hours and visited with the owner. I think that man was what made it so memorable. His appreciation for his children and for his life. It was really cool!


  6. …and on the outstanding meal…our first dinner as a married couple on our honeymoon in Greece. We were jet lagred but sooo excited to be there so we showered up and went out on the town. A romantic walk to a spot around the corner with a roof top table and a view of ancient Greece…and my sweetie. ahhhh. Thank you for the memory. I have not thought of this night for years. It makes me want to go out and buy two plane tickets …(or at the very least cook something Grecian tonight ;p)

  7. Thanks for a wonderful day hanging out at your blog. What a lively, informative, and fun place it is. And thanks for all your good words about The Meal Box. Our wish for you is that you enjoy countless wonderful, memorable meals with those you love. –Bret and Tom

  8. P.S. Tonight we read, “Kids: what is the most important thing your parents have taught you so far?”



    “What DORK means.”