When was the last time that your family has sat down at the table and enjoyed a meal together? I totally understand that most families are super busy these days especially during the evening hours. If your kids, have activities in the evening time it can pull your family apart and keep them from potentially eating together as a family. Even though you might not be able to eat together every single night but research shows that it is important for families to eat meals together. Today, I wanted to share with you some tips on how to get your family around the kitchen table as often as possible.
Dinner time is a great opportunity to catch up with each other. Did you know that a simple conversation can go a long way and make everyone feel loved? For example, you can ask each person how their day was or ask them if they want to share anything about their day. This gives everyone the opportunity to talk about their day. If you don’t know where to start, you can find 50 family dinner conversations here or make up something each night to talk about. Communication can help your kids feel loved, respected, and even feel safe at home. Plus, open communication allows your kids to feel comfortable coming to you with problems or things that they want to discuss without every family member around.
Teaching Your Children Proper Table Manners
Meal time is a great way to model how your children how they should act at the table. I realize that you might not always take your kids to super fancy places to eat but they need to know what is appropriate and what isn’t at the table. Here are a few things that you can teach your child:
- how to place their napkin in their lap
- how to properly use their silverware
- use their napkin to wipe their mouth instead of their sleeve
- chew with their mouth closed
- how to pass food that they can’t reach
- how to act when they don’t like a certain food
- don’t forget to teach them please, thank you, no thank you, yes ma’am or sir
Mealtime at Home is a Great Place to Encourage Your Children to Try New Foods
I know that my kids are pretty good at trying new foods. However, a picky eater might turn up their nose at anything new that you serve them. In general, it takes children to be exposed to a new food 8 or more times before they will actually accept trying it. So it is important for your children to see you eating the foods that you want to introduce to your child. I usually got my kids to try a spoonful before they told me that they didn’t like it. If they tried it and didn’t like it, I would wait to reintroduce it.
Teaching Children How to Prepare Meals
As you are prepping meals for the family, you can easily include your children in helping in the kitchen. Many children aren’t taught the importance of helping plan or prepare meals. Even if you have a toddler in the house, they can even help with simple tasks like getting a pot out from under the cabinet, helping you gather up supplies, tearing lettuce, setting the table, cleaning up, or even sitting on the counter to watch what you are doing (I remember doing this when I was younger). So grab your children and get them involved in the kitchen.
Eating at Home is Cheaper
Meals that are purchased outside of the home generally cost more and lack the nutritional value compared to home cooked meals. Even though the cost of food is continually rising, it is still cheaper to eat meals at home. If you have evening activities to contend with in the evening, you can even serve your family meals using a crock pot. I love crock pot meals because you can toss everything into one pot and dinner is done in several hours.
Improve Your Child’s Well Being
Did you know that simply eating together as a family could help improve your child’s academic performance? According to Ann Dolin M.Ed, preparing meals at home and sitting down to dinner together creates unity and togetherness. So if your child is struggling in school, you can easily help your child by eating as many meals together as a family. Here are some benefits:
- Improved grades and test scores
- Stress levels are lower
- Children are more content emotionally
- Teaches kids healthy eating habits
- Children are likely to refrain from smoking, drinking, or doing drugs
- Children are more confident and actually feel that their parents are proud of them
Infographic A Case For Family Meals
Image Credit: Pixabay
Infographic Credit: Fixed By Assurant Health
Do you eat meals together as a family? If not, what did you learn from this post?
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