In my last post we explored the benefits of family meal times & saw that when more effort is made to create a positive environment for your family to eat together, the less likely your children are to to suffer from depression or become involved in youth crime. Here are my 5 tips to incorporating this beneficial practice into your family’s routine:
1. Make it a constant in your children’s lives
Research shows that families benefit even from three family dinners per week.
2. Don’t get hung up on it being dinner time
Breakfast, lunch & supper can be just as effective. The point is that your tribe gets an opportunity to connect. The food is simply the edible cement that binds it all together. Some families opt for breakfast time, for others a healthy suppertime snack could do the trick. It all comes down to consistency, not the name of the meal.
3. Get your kids to muck in
>What better way to strike up conversation even before you sit down. Here’s an opportunity for children to get lit up about the food that they’re eating & not become another generation that gets their courgettes & cucumbers mixed up. For choosy eaters, I find that once a child gets a bit of intrigue about what they’re putting in their mouth, they start meandering down the right nutritional path.
4. No hypnotic devices at the table
Mobiles, tablets, or even the TV being on in the background distracts everyone from being fully present & engaged. So leave technology out of the equation at family gatherings.
5. Inspire conversation
‘How was your day?’ for many kids does not lead to an outpouring of expression. Open questions such as “What was the best part of your day?” can lead to more sharing. Don’t hold back in being creative with what you bring to the table. Sure you might feel a bit silly at first, but people of all ages find imaginative topics hard to resist once they let go. Try out “If you were a season, what season would you be & why?”, or perhaps “What is your favourite thing to do in the world & why?”, or maybe “What superpowers would you choose & how would you put them to good use?”
Have you got any inspiring stories to share about family meal times? I’d love to hear from you so drop me a comment below.
Wishing you & your family health & happiness,