This is where our motto, “Shop once, prep once, enjoy healthy, stress-free meals all week!” really comes into play. You can go into the week without meal time stress and actually look forward to family meal time.
Here are 5 tips for making family meal time even more special:
- Communicate an established “dinner time”
Having a set dinner time helps set expectations and makes a commitment to family meal time.
- Make the atmosphere fun
This could something as simple as setting the table and actually using the dishes you have to adding flowers, candles, or holiday themes to the table. Make your table a fun and inviting place to sit down and enjoy dinner.
Establish a “no technology at the table” policy. Give your family member(s) your full attention and show them you are interested in what they have to say. Time at the table shouldn't be interrupted by a phone or device. Neither should somebody's attention. Establish a designated area that all devices get placed before dinner and turn off the TV. If this is hard for your family, hold an Unplug Challenge with the winner earning a special prize/treat.
- Talk. Converse. Share.
Use this time to share schedules for the week, catch up on the week, plan a vacation or simply talk about your favorite TV show, book, etc. If you need a conversation starter, try going around the table and sharing a “win” from the day.
- Picky Eater?
Try making a “kid-sized” portion of what you are eating or deconstructing the meal. For example, if you are having a salad for dinner, instead of serving it all mixed together, put the items on the plate separately. Then let them try eating with different utensils like chop sticks, shaped utensils, or even fingers. Offer different dips for dunking as well. Anything you can do to make eating fun, casual and rewarding helps. Most importantly, never give up and always encourage. It may take your child several times with the same food before they are even willing to try. When ready, have them try 2 bites so the knee-jerk reaction is eliminated.