Most American families reportedly have just one meal together in less than 5 days a week, according to recent surveys. This is despite the scientific evidence of family mealtimes being good for your psychological well-being and physical health.
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How can you make mealtimes more fun for your family? Here’re a few ideas.
Dedicate Ample of Time to Your Meals
It’s not really a family meal if you’re just sitting together for 10 minutes and eating hurriedly before resuming other activities. In order to make mealtimes more special with your family, allow for a longer duration in which all of you can enjoy the food together and relax.
This applies to all meals, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Adjust your schedule accordingly such that you have at least 20 minutes for breakfast and lunch, and 30 or more for dinner. All present family members should sit down together, instead of heaving meals at separate timings. Similarly, instead of serving your kids meals or snacks from the kitchen, be present with them even if you’re not eating at that moment.
Involve Children in Meal Preparation
Children are often picky eaters, which can make preparing and sitting down for meals together quite stressful. However, one way to pique their interest in the food you make is by getting them involved in the various stages of meal preparation.
For instance, have them set the table or pour water for everyone before you all sit down to eat. They can assemble the ingredients, also chop vegetables, garnish the food, or help you clean the mess made in the kitchen during the cooking process. The more involved they are, the less likely they’ll be to make a fuss during mealtimes and actually enjoy the food. In fact, they’ll also feel proud of their contribution and feel good about having helped out. Make meal preparation more interactive!
Adopt Specific Mealtime Habits
Make certain mealtime rules and stick by them! For instance, make it a point to stay away from all technology while you’re eating together, including the TV, cell phones, and tablets. Similarly, set up a time schedule for your meals and follow it as closely as you can. This will help your family slip into a comfortable and healthy routine of eating at certain times of the day.
Make Meaningful Conversations
Mealtimes aren’t just for eating! They’re also a great opportunity for you and your family to have a nice, candid conversation and connect with each other.
You can use this time to share news, hear stories, and just catch up with your family. Dinner time is typically when all of you can discuss your day’s events, whereas breakfast is where you all greet and chat with each other before getting busy with other activities. Having fun and meaningful conversations will make mealtimes a lot more appealing!
You know what else you can do to make mealtimes more family-oriented? Try out our delicious recipes available online! From strawberry shortcake ice cream bars recipe to chicken Chorizo and shrimp paella recipe, Eats By The Beach has it all!
4 thoughts on “Making Mealtimes Fun: How to Turn Eating Into a Family Affair”
This is a great post. It instantly generated memories from childhood. We always ate dinner together, even if it was only for 15 minutes. Our “high-meal” was Sunday at 1PM. The sauce would boil in the morning (me sitting at the kitchen table dunking bread in a bowl of sauce) and we would eat together after church.
Another comment I am happy to see that you incorporated is “staying away from technology”. Nothing makes you feel further apart and isolated than watching your spouse and child text each other at the kitchen table. I made it a rule after that to “put your phone down while we eat”.
Again, this is a great post. Thanks!
Thank you for your kind words and for reading!
I hope your husband and children appreciate you. Since you have shared this article it’s apparent family time is important in your life. Great article! We always had family meal time, shared our days with each other and cleaned up the dinner mess together. The younger generation can learn a lot from this.
Thank you so much for your very kind words. You have touched my heart and I am very grateful!