Everything You Need to Know about Family Meals
Trying to get everyone in your family to sit down together for a meal sounds impossible, right? Between parents working, kids getting homework done or playing outside, and how impatient for dinner the little ones can get, it can seem like a miracle to get everyone in the same room, let alone sitting down to eat a meal! But family meals don’t have to be chaotic. By creating a mealtime routine, you can be better prepared for dinner and enjoy some relaxing time together. Not to mention, setting aside some time each week for family meals (even just one!) can be good for the health and diet of your kids. It may sound too good to be true, but we’re here to help make family meals smooth sailing- and healthy- for the whole family. In this post, we’ll talk about why family meals are important, what it means to have a mealtime routine, and how you can create a successful family meal routine in your own home.
Why are family meals important?
Sitting down to eat together is a great way to spend some time with the family without any distractions, like phones or TV’s, present. It’s a perfect opportunity to share stories with one another, laugh, and just spend some time all in the same place. No matter what it may look like for you and your family, eating together is a great way to bond with family and improve your child’s sense of relatedness. Relatedness is the idea of having positive and meaningful interactions with your kid. These positive interactions give them a sense of belonging and are a way for them to connect with you and the rest of the family. Relatedness is just one of the good things that comes from having a family meal, and it can help your child to grow into a healthy eater!
What is a mealtime routine?
Another way to improve your child’s relatedness is to create a special family mealtime routine. A mealtime routine is a set of agreed-upon steps that you and your family (including the little ones!) take to get ready for a meal. It allows everyone in the family to get involved with the preparation, serving, enjoying, and clearing of the meal. It’s important because it gives family members a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the meal. As a bonus, more helping hands tend to be welcome support for whoever is doing the cooking!
So, what might a mealtime routine look like?
Mealtime routines will look different for every family! All that matters is that your children are involved and have a sense of responsibility for a part of the meal. It might mean that they set the table for you, or wash vegetables for cooking. Older children might even help with the cooking itself or help to prepare a salad for a side dish. Just remember that the focus of the meal should be on the family, and distractions like phones, TV’s, and games should be set aside as part of the routine. It’s great to have a family meal whenever possible, but schedules can be busy, so start out by aiming for a family meal once a week- and remember to have fun! Who knows what traditions you might start with your family that will last a lifetime?
What do you think of these family meal routine ideas? Do you have any special family meal routines that have been fun and enjoyable for your family?