Making and eating meals together requires a while. Regular family dinners are worth the effort when possible.
Family lunches are ideal occasions to reconnect, converse, and catch up. This is vital for busy older kids and teenagers.
Watching you eat can teach your child a lot about food, eating, and family traditions. Eating with the family teaches younger children to eat the same healthy foods as everyone else. It can help finicky eaters try new foods.
And you may use family dinners to demonstrate the behavior you wish to see. Using spoons, forks, and knives for younger children. It’s also about taking turns talking and listening to others.
So, how can you make family meals enjoyable? Let’s look below.
Schedule Frequent Meals Together
Put these moments in your weekly itinerary and you’ll all be there. Eating at a table, without TV or phones, can make this moment even more meaningful. If it’s in the routine, it’s easier to plan and your kids will know what to expect.
Reduce The Rush
Allowing 20-30 minutes for family dinners allows your kids to eat. They can explore new foods and build healthy eating habits. Having fun with your family is also possible. If your kid can’t sit still for twenty minutes, let him wander about. But only let your kid eat at the table.
Involve your kids in selecting and preparing family meals. It can also help picky eaters try new foods. Even small children can assist prepare meals. They can wash produce or toss salads. They can also help prepare the table and arrange the flowers. Choose a new recipe such as the southern field peas recipe and get them to shop for the ingredients with you.
Older kids and teens could enjoy trying new recipes and cooking for the family once a week or biweekly. This helps split meal preparation responsibilities and allows your youngster to learn to cook.
Use Family Meals To Talk
Family dinners can be a fantastic way to stay connected. But occasionally kids have trouble expressing themselves. If this describes your youngster, ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer. ‘Tell me something great that happened at school today.
Another suggestion is to take turns discussing something positive and negative from your day. So your child doesn’t feel pressured.
If your youngster refuses to speak, don’t press too hard or bring up sensitive issues. It’s good for your youngster to be with you and hear other people speak. Making mealtimes fun and social is the goal.
When your young children eat well, behave well, and try new things, try rewarding them with descriptive praise. Be sure to compliment them. Use a reward system to encourage behaviors like eating everything on the dish and saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you.
You should never use food as a reward or punishment. Saying, ‘If you eat your veggies, you can have ice cream for dessert’ is not a smart idea. This can lead to a preference for goodies over nutritious diets.
These tips should help you to have a successful family dinner time again and again. Do you have any other tips that could help?