Unfortunately, it is not predictable that the majority of our families are committed to this extremely valuable time together. When we question why it is not a daily practice these are some of the responses they share.
1. It is nerve wracking.
2. We need a quiet time at the end of the day.
3. We don’t eat the same food as our children do.
4. It is easier to feed them and get them to bed so we can relax and catch up with each other on our day.
5. One of us is always late.
Family dinnertime should be the anchor of the day. When that happens it allows the rest of the evening to run smoothly.
Food is a social experience. You also want your child to understand the value of balanced and nutritious meals.
It should be designed to develop and reinforce good eating habits for life, learn good table manners, and share everyone’s experiences for that day. You also want your child to understand the value of balanced and nutritious meals.
-There should be no electronic equipment at the table, even for the parents.
-Involve your child in the menu at the beginning.
-Provide them with food they are familiar with and enjoy.
-Serve vegetables first, then protein, then carbs or grains, then fruit. Each category needs to be eaten before the next one is requested. This may be a new concept but it really works and reduces coaching and arguing to a minimum.
-Begin introducing one new food at a time and serve it in smaller portions.
-Evaluate what works with everyone and build on that knowledge.
-Try to include one item that your child can help you prepare.
-Have conversations that are educational without being too intense. Also make them interactive and positive, this is not the time and place for the resolution of serious disputes.
I guarantee that within a short time you and your family will be looking forward to dinnertime!
A successful dinnertime has the power to carry over to the evening and bedtime and who knows, could have a positive impact on your whole family life!
Enjoy and good luck!