Family mealtimes are something many families get wrong. When you’re busy, it’s too easy to make the kids their meals and put them in front of the TV. Many adults end up eating at different times to their children, and even if they eat at the same time, many are focused on the TV rather than one another.
Making family mealtimes special can be so beneficial to families as a whole. Read on to find out why this is something you should focus on and to get some ideas:
The Benefits Of Family Mealtimes
There are some obvious benefits of family mealtimes – for example, this can be a time for you all to talk and connect, catching up when you have been busy with work and school. It’s also a good opportunity for you to model good table manners and encourage kids to try new foods, which will help them in the future.
If you really want to make family mealtimes a positive time of day, you can all take it in turns to list things you are grateful for/feeling positive about. Most people are programmed to automatically think of the negative first, so getting kids into these habits early on can be a huge help. This will get the whole family into a more positive mindset.
You may not realize that family mealtimes have also been linked to positive improvements in children, such as:
- Healthier eating in adulthood
- Healthier bodyweight
- Better grades
- Better self esteem
- Less risk of poor mental health such as depression and anxiety
Even if you eat one meal together per day, it’ll make a big difference. If you barely do this at all at the moment, start with one mealtime a week and build it up steadily.
How To Make Family Meal Times Special
Making family mealtimes special can make them more appealing, and it makes them an even better opportunity for bonding. Here are some ideas:
Create A Weekly Menu
Start by creating a weekly menu. You can use a menu template if you want to be fancy and impress the kids! Kids will love knowing what they are having to eat in advance, and you’ll love being able to get the exact right amount of shopping so you don’t need to waste money or food!
Get Everybody Involved In Making The Food
Getting everybody involved in making the food can be a lot of fun and teach kids valuable skills. Perhaps choose one of your favorite grilling recipes for when eating outdoors. Even laying the table if they aren’t old enough to help can be a nice way for kids to feel connected to the rest of the family.
Switch Off Technology And Focus On One Another
Don’t sit in front of the TV, and don’t allow phones at the table. Use this time to focus on one another.
Work As A Family To Clear Up After Dinner
Don’t let the teamwork end after dinner. Work as a family to tidy up so you can all start to wind down.
How will you make your family mealtimes special?