In days gone by, dinner was a meal where families came together each evening without fail to eat. A family dinner is a perfect chance to enjoy a delicious meal and catch up on the day’s events. Dinner provides the opportunity for families not only to be nourished by the food on offer but also by being in the company of the people that are closest to them.
Nowadays, eating a meal together each night can be challenging to achieve for many families. Different work patterns and busy schedules can leave families more like ships that pass in the night. If you have older children, you may become frustrated with them using their cell phones and gadgets at the table. Research from YouGov shows that 62 percent of parents with children under 18 would like to eat together as a family more often. If you would like to make more of family mealtimes and take them as an opportunity to reconnect, these ideas should help:
Create Your Own Traditions
If eating together every night just isn’t possible, why not make the nights when the whole family sits down together to eat extra-special? Introducing some family mealtime traditions can help to make family meals more of an event to be enjoyed – think quality time together rather than quantity.
You could set aside one family night per week, where everyone knows to keep their schedules clear so that the whole family can eat together. Alternatively, a family meal followed by a games night will make for a great evening of food and fun spent together.
Introduce Some Family Favorites
If you want to make sure that everyone makes it home for dinner, then how about whipping up one of the family’s favorite dishes to give them extra incentive to be there? If you don’t have one particular meal that everyone loves, why not try a new version of one of the family’s most popular dishes instead? Reworking a recipe such as a classic homemade chili is sure to get everyone canceling their plans to be sat at the dinner table.
Trying new flavors together is also a great way to make mealtimes more of an event. Introducing new dishes is a great way to keep mealtimes exciting, and to break away from the monotony of the same-old mid-week dinners. Who knows, while you are experimenting with flavors, you may find some new family favorites along the way.
Get the Kids Involved
If you want to get the kids on board with mealtimes, then getting them involved in the cooking is a sure-fire way to do this. Children are far more likely to want to eat their dinner if they have been included in the process of making it. Getting the kids to help cook will also teach them valuable skills for the future, and help them to develop their independence. Cooking with kids is also a great way to spend some quality time together before you even sit down at the table.
This is a collaborative post.
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