The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Family-friendly meal times

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Family-friendly meal times

Do your family meals turn into battlegrounds with children fighting adults for control of the plate?  Did you know that the single most frequent response when adults are asked what they remember as children involve family meals?  Think about your own family meal rituals.  What will your children remember in twenty-five years when they have your grandchildren sitting around their tables?  How will your legacy of happy family meals continue through the generations?  Here are a few suggestions for creating happier family meals:
  1. Everyone does not have to eat the same thing as everyone else.  In other words, you don't need to force your children to eat peas if they don't like peas!
  2. Encourage conversation by turning off the TV and iPods.
  3. Have one family member help with the choice, preparation, and presentation of the dinner occasionally.
  4. In a busy family, designate one day as family dinner day when everyone makes sure they are home at a specific time.
  5. Develop unique family recipes, traditions, or grace before meals.
When you create happy meals for your family, research shows that children with asthma have fewer attacks, teens are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and all family members have a lower tendency for eating disorders.  What are you having for dinner tonight?  Meat loaf or family togetherness?


  1. This is wonderful advice!! It is extremely difficult for us to have sit down family time every day, so we have made 3 specific days a week that this happens, no matter the obstacles! Out of these days, both of my kids have a certain day they are responsible for dinner (with parent guidance of course). They pick the menu and go shopping with me to get what’s needed (I challenge them by giving them a specific budget for their selection, so shopping is made into a game). I have also found that this is a perfect way to get them to try new recipes. They are more open-minded when it’s their creation!! PS - This is Komika, for some reason it will not allow me to post through my Google Account!

  2. Hah - Komika, you're an awesome mom! Thanks for commenting :-)

  3. Thank you Mrs. Heiss, it feels good to hear that sometimes. But I can't take full credit for it. It must have been that awesome Child Development class I had in high school! The teacher was absolutely fantastic!


Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog