Making Mealtimes Fun: Quick Tips To Use Today
January 21st, 2020
It often feels like cooking at home is an impossible task in today’s busy world. From trips to the grocery store to cooking and cleaning up — home-cooked meals can easily become stressful endeavors. Sitting down with the family to enjoy a meal can be a great way to connect, and the key to a successful home-cooked meal is keeping things relaxed and fun. Here are some tips to ensure that mealtimes in your home are fun for the whole family.
Remove distractions. Put away the phones and make sure the TV is turned off. We spend all day on our devices. Removing them from mealtime ensures that the family is focusing on each other.
Talk to each other. With Netflix and Facebook at bay, there will be plenty of opportunities to talk as a family. Make sure these conversations are light and interesting. Focus on what was funny or different about your day, and use these moments to check in on how your child is doing.
Let kids make choices. Research shows that children are more likely to enjoy foods that they have chosen themselves. Set a healthy table and let them decide what to eat, and how much. Not only does it give them the chance to pick what they like, but youngsters will also learn to listen to their bodies and determine when they’ve had enough to eat. Encourage healthy habits so that they continue throughout your child’s life.
Get everyone involved. This can start at the grocery store by letting everyone in the family choose new foods to try during the week. At home, little ones might help by getting the napkins while older kids do some of the prep and cooking.
Make your own dishes. Meals like tacos, yogurt parfaits, and choose-your-own pizzas are fun ways to let every family member’s creativity shine. Giving a wide array of healthy options ensures that everyone will find something they enjoy.
Honor traditions. Special plates, seating arrangements, or starts to meals can be fun and reliable ways to keep everyone coming back to the table. Family mealtimes are also the perfect setting to talk about food traditions and cultural history. Something as simple as sharing grandma’s favorite recipe is a proven way to add a personal touch to a meal.
Change of scenery. Opt to eat somewhere other than the dinner table. While it’s always a good idea to sit down while eating, moving things outside to the patio can be a simple way to make meals varied. When the weather is nice, consider a picnic at your neighborhood park.