For my family dinner around the table every night isn’t just an option, it’s a requirement. It’s our time together at the end of a busy day, to just sit down, enjoy good food and talk to one another without any distractions.
It’s been that way from the very beginning, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I love the times when all five of us are in the same room. Now that I have a tween (and one that’s almost a tween), it’s getting harder and harder for us to find time when we can all be together.
In this day and age, our lives are full of distractions. And that’s why I look forward to mealtime around the table with my family. It gives us all the opportunity to talk with each other without the distractions of friends, tablets, or television.
I can’t imagine a life without that time with my family. We are always so busy and those few minutes around the table keep me balanced and grounded. But mealtime doesn’t just have to begin when the food hits the table. Include your family in all aspects of mealtime to make it a fun (and learning) time together.
5 Ways to Make Mealtime Awesome
Get Your Children Involved. Depending on the day and what our schedule looks like, I’ll allow my children to decide what will be on the menu. They find it rather fulfilling to be able to decide the menu. And honestly, I find it fulfilling that I don’t have to agonize over what to fix.
Make it a Fun, Learning Experience. Your child’s future spouse will thank you! Instead of doing all the work yourself, enlist the help of your little people and teach them how to cook. It is surprisingly exciting for them and it teaches them lifelong skills. And when they’ve helped in cooking something, they’re more likely to eat it, too.
Play a Game. My family loves to play games, so naturally games fit in during our mealtime. And what’s great about this is the possibilities are endless. We make up games as we go.
Use Conversation Starters. Lets face it. Sometimes I don’t have the energy to think of things to ask my children to get the conversation flowing. That’s why I love using conversation starters to help guide the discussions on nights when I’m just not firing on all cylinders.
Host Theme Nights. I personally love theme nights because it takes the guess work out of what to make, but surprisingly enough the kids love theme nights too. On Italian nights we serve spaghetti with salad and garlic bread. For Mexican nights we usually serve up a soft taco bar with chips and salsa. But you can also do book themes and serve up green eggs and ham. The possibilities are endless with theme nights.