The Importance of Family Dinner & 5 Ways To Make it Happen
BY VICTORIA SCHNEIDER
One of my favorite parts of the day, by far, is when we all sit down together as a family for dinner. There is something special about us all being together with no distractions, just enjoying our time together.
When we were first going through pre-marriage counseling, one of the things they told us was to make it a priority to have dinner together as much as possible throughout the week. We made it a habit, and we realized how much it helped us let go of other things going on and give each other our undivided attention. While it was sometimes easier to just eat while watching a show or grabbing something on the way home from work, it was always worth the effort to make the time.
After we had kids, it definitely didn’t get easier, but sticking to the routine proved to be something we all enjoyed. We can even see how much it benefits our kids as well. And it’s not just me. Studies show that families that have dinner together have improved diets, save money, have better behavior and communication skills, and overall closer relationships.
Here are a few practical and fun ways to make Family Dinner consistent and work for your family:
1. Meal Planning. I had the hardest time with coming up with dinner options, which made cooking so miserable for me most nights. When I did start meal planning, it was so much easier for me to know exactly what we we were having and what needed to be prepped every day in order to make meal time easy and stress free.
2. Get everyone involved. One of the things I love about cooking now is that everyone in the family loves to help. They will help me wash produce, get pans out, and stir and mix. Even if it takes twice as long, it’s great to see my boys learning how to cook and clean up in the kitchen. (I think their future wives might love me for it too, ha!)
3. Turn it into a theme or party. What makes a Thursday night dinner fun? Turning it into a fiesta and having some festive music playing in the back. You could even have a weekly pizza night where everyone makes their own pizza. If the weather is nice, take it outside and have a picnic in the backyard. It makes the ordinary extraordinary and gives your family memories and traditions that they’ll hold close forever.
4. Plan and save the time. I totally get busy schedules. We both own our own businesses and have two small children. Things can get a little hectic. We sit down and talk about when we are going to plan to eat together and work everything in around that. That way, we make it a priority in our daily routine, just like working out, naps, etc.
5. Give yourself grace and set the expectation. We started setting expectations early that everyone would try and eat what was prepared (no making separate meals), that everyone would sit at the table until everyone was finished, and that everyone participated in the cleanup. Eventually, everyone gets the hang out it, and it makes things so much more simple and stress free.
There will likely be bad days, terrible Pinterest meal fails, toddler meltdowns, and other things that don’t go right. Instead of defeating it, just make the most of the time and try again the next day. Overall, family dinner is something that everyone can enjoy and look forward to. It will be an incredible bonding time for the whole family.
Hi there! I’m Victoria Schneider and I’m from Atlanta, Georgia. I married my best friend and heartthrob, Ian, and we have two little boys named Cove and Jettson.
I cry a lot (95 percent of the time it’s happy tears). I’m a drink hoarder, Chick-fil-a fanatic and my treat of choice is always dark chocolate. My hobbies include frequenting bagel and coffee shops with my boys, watching sunsets and traveling as much as possible.
My boys are my heart and my joy. Being a homemaker is truly a gift. When I’m not taking care of/or with them, I enjoy documenting and writing about life, faith, fashion and styling on my blog, The Southern Trunk. Blogging is something I’ve found so much joy in over the past few years. I have loved being able to connect with so many people and having the opportunity to document this life we’ve been given. Even though it’s considered a job, I see it as more of a passion project.
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