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How to Make Family Mealtime More Meaningful

Though they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it can also be argued that any meal can be the most important if you make it special. From preparation to clean up, there is opportunity at every mealtime to get family members involved, so check out these tips to find out how you can make your family mealtime more meaningful.

Plan the menu together

By taking time at the beginning of the week to plan a menu, you'll solve one of those nagging questions we seem to be faced with every day: "What's for dinner?" Take time as a family to designate what meals you'll have during the week, taking into account each family members favorites (or least favorites). Let your youngest decide on at least one meal, and try to incorporate some healthy options so that they become a part of the routine.

Take time to talk

Mealtime is a great chance to check in with everyone in the family. Turn off the TV and spend the course of the meal to check in with each family member to find out how everyone's day went. There's no better opportunity to support one another than by really tuning in to a conversation with your loved ones.

Have everyone pitch in

Not everyone needs to be involved in every step of the process (except the "sitting down to chat and eat" part of course!), but everyone can get involved in SOME aspect of the process. Have your younger children assist in setting the table, get the older siblings to help clear the dishes, and let dad prepare each plate before it hits the table.

Have a night out

Sure, there is a lot of merit to gathering around your own dinner table, but that does not mean you have to spend every night cooped up in the house. Have a night out with the family and visit a favorite restaurant, or use the opportunity to discover something new. Special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries are always good excuses to go out to eat, but going out to celebrate small victories can sometimes be just as rewarding.

Make it your own

Above all, don't forget that family mealtime is more about family than mealtime. In fact, this should be a chance to celebrate YOUR family and discover what makes them special to you. Create a tradition, talk about the rest of the week, or even plan to do something fun together for the upcoming weekend.

At our schools, we make sure children learn the value of good nutrition as well as how to share meals with one another. It's just one way we treat the children in our care as part of our own family. What are some of the ways your family makes mealtime meaningful?

- from your friends at La Petite Academy.



Internet4classrooms is a collaborative effort by Susan Brooks and Bill Byles.




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