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Family meal time is something that often gets forgotten in the
hustle and bustle of daily life. Grabbing something to eat while we
dash around may be convenient once in a while but once you have
gotten into the habit of eating out or snagging a quick bite,
you lose one of the most valuable benefits that parents have
when raising their children; family meal time.
Setting aside a time for at least one meal a day with your family
can help your children to establish a routine and give you time to
get to know your children better. You should turn off the
television, turn off the computer and turn off any video games
during family meal time and let this time be used to feed not only
your bodies but learn about one another and feed the bond between
you and your children. Open communication this way is very important
As they get older your children might not appear to want to sit at
the table and participate in family meal time. If you have instilled
this since early childhood your teens are going to be more receptive
to the idea. If you are starting after your children are teens you
might see a little struggle at first.
Benefits of Family Meal Time
Children who have routine family meal time are less likely to
deal with depression.
Less likely to start smoking or doing drugs.
They are less likely to drink alcohol than those who do not
have this time with their family.
Children's self esteem is boosted with this simple practice.
Family meal time is a great time for you to be a role model.
Healthy dietary habits are learned by watching others and their
eating habits. If you eat healthy foods and give these as
healthy choices to your children they are going to choose
healthy foods as well.
Make teaching easier with our activities and recipes compiled in one easy to read format.
Family Dinner Ideas
These family meal ideas can help you to spend quality time with your
family and teach your children about nutrition.
Learning to listen to your body and stop eating when you have
reached the satisfied point is also important. Making a child
finish everything they are served, or everything they serve
themselves, can teach them to overeat. This can lead to more
health problems later in life. It is best to teach children to
stop eating once their hunger is satisfied.
Family meal time is also a great time to introduce new foods
to the whole family. Trying new foods opens up opportunities to
get nutrition from new sources.
You can designate one night a month to a specific culture and
you can try ethnic foods that way.
Don't forget children can help you get meals planned and
prepared. This will help them to learn more about cooking and
nutrition. It might take a little more work to have younger
children help you out in the kitchen but the bond you are
cementing as you do so this is worth it.
Family Dinner Ideas Topic Starters
We've created the questions to get your family dinner conversation
rolling. Print off the pdf game, cut out and take turns answering
and discussing. Enjoy!