It can be challenging to find the energy to make family dinners happen after a long day, but sharing a meal with your loved ones is a crucial part of your well being. Our team at Corken + Company cares about our clients, and wants their families to thrive. Here are some tips for more meaningful mealtimes.
The main ingredient to making dinner time enjoyable is simply to not overthink it. An elaborate meal isn’t required in order to sit down with your family. Even if you get takeout or serve something as simple as build-your-own sandwiches, it’s making the conscious effort to be together that influences family life the most.
Early evenings can feel like when everything starts to fall apart. It’s best to lean into the chaos at this point and reach out to helping hands to make dinner happen. Can your toddler wash some veggies? Can your pre-teen grate cheese or slice potatoes?
If meal prep is your thing, try to find a way to involve your kids in another process. Can they set the table? Or work together to clean up?
Think of the Setting:
Creating a cozy dining setup will make your space feel more welcoming, and it might even score you a few more minutes at the table. Have dining chairs that are comfortable for kids and easy to clean, like ones made with vinyl or leather. Go for armless stools with back support if your family tends to eat at a countertop or island. They are easier for kids to get in and out of on their own.
Traditions are Fun:
Sharing traditions around the table can be exciting for kids. It can also help them understand what to expect each night, encouraging them to stay present during their meal. The beauty of mealtime traditions is that you can make them entirely your own.
Some low-key dinner rituals to try: let your kids pick their plates, take turns reading from a short book, go around mentioning something you’re thankful for, or set up food-related theme nights.
Disconnect from Devices:
In this fast-paced world, and especially with so many parents working from home, it can be tempting to check an email or reply to a text at the table, but it’s good to set boundaries and carve out time to connect with family. Not just for your kids, but you too!
If your family is struggling to put their phones away, try making a designated “device box” that you put your devices in before mealtime starts. You can also put TV remotes in this box and require that everything stays tucked away until after dinner.
Remember your Reason:
If you find it stressful to prioritize family meals, think about the end goal of why this is important to you. When you acknowledge why it matters, it will be easier to refocus your mindset and make it happen. Once you get into a mealtime routine, you’ll have something to look forward to at the end of each day, and your kids will have warm memories of their time around the table.
For more tips on how to make family mealtime more significant visit: