Why family dinnertime is quality time
How much time do you spend as a family? Perhaps you and your spouse are out at work all day. The kids are off at school. Most days you are all rushing around and have no time to spend together, just catching up and enjoying quality time as a family.
Studies have shown that families who set aside time to eat together are happier and have a stronger family identity than those who do not. Regular family dinners reinforce parents’ relationships with each other and their children.
Take the time to have fun!
You can prepare simple meals in big batches like soups and stews. Freeze and thaw for weekday meals. Get the kids involved in helping you make their favorite recipe.
Turn off the TV and ban mobile phones at the table
Dinnertime should be a time when your family gets together to share what happened during the day. Your kids can take the opportunity to tell you about the great grades they got on tests, or the fun that they had on a school trip. Take time to listen to everyone and enjoy yourselves together.
Ban arguments at the table
Dinnertime should be about building positive experiences. Tell jokes. Get one of the kids to pick music to play during the meal. Take the time to ask what’s going on in your teen’s life. Set aside an hour for happy leisurely meals. If you have younger kids ask them about their favorite games, toys or cartoons. Tell them about you and your better half met.
Create theme nights
Get the kids to suggest theme nights and plan meals around them. You’ll all be surprised at how much fun you have. Set the music accordingly. Share fun facts about the country the food you’ve cooked originated from.
Can I ask the kids to help?
Why not? Smaller children love to help you wash the vegetables. Ask your teenage child if he or she would like to help you cook. Make preparing a meal fun and interesting; take pictures of the dishes they’ve made and display them. Perhaps you can ask them to make dessert. Pick simple, easy recipes that they’ll enjoy making.
Get everyone to choose their favorites
Plan your weekly meals around everybody’s choices and do as much preparation as possible in advance.
Glam up the dinner table
A couple of candles, or a spray of flowers as a centerpiece on the dining table will create a special atmosphere. Add music you all enjoy to set the mood. Compliment the kids on how they’ve helped make the meal taste so good.
Can we play games at dinnertime?
Why not? I-spy is a good game for younger children. You can play a story game, where each person adds a few sentences to a story. You can also plan a game night where you play the family’s favorite board game. Prepare finger foods and appetizers and a dessert to go with the fun!