Planning and preparing meals for your family can be a daunting task. After all, everyone may be working or studying throughout the week and may not have the time to come together for a meal. This shows why family mealtimes at home are essential -It brings everyone together for a family meal, and helps everyone handle the stresses of daily life.
Whether it is preparing for special lunch days or late-night dinners, eating as a family is a great way for you to catch up and share your day with your loved ones, and vice versa for them too!
Still, getting everyone together for a meal can be difficult - whether it be due to work, school or one’s personal hobbies. So, to help you out - here are somesome helpful tips you can utilise to make family mealtimes less stressful overall.
1. Allocate enough time for meals
Allocating between 30 to 45 minutes for family meals is ideal as you and your family will have sufficient time to eat and catch up about their day. Your children will also have the chance to develop good eating habits, discuss their day, and relax.
If you have a child who may find it hard to sit or stay in a position for a long time, this gives them an opportunity to learn how to eat slowly and develop good table manners.
2. Get everyone involved
Preparing a meal takes a lot of effort, ranging from preparation to serving and disposing of the remains in plastic containers. By keeping in mind that some of these tasks are better with a helping hand, you can involve your family in meal preparation to make things flow smoothly.
Younger children, for instance, can help to wash fruits and vegetables, while the older ones can help to pick out new recipes and lend a hand in the cooking process. You can also task them to separate different foods into biodegradable takeaway food containers so that they can help you make food preparation easier! At the same time, teaching them the importance of being eco-friendly.
3. Engage with each other
Use mealtimes to talk and engage with your loved ones. Family meals can be a great way to keep up with what your loved ones are doing. Although children may find it hard to put everything into words, you can always ask them a question to set the ball rolling. For instance, you can ask if they are facing any difficulties at school, or if they have learnt anything new.
Another excellent idea is to share what they are looking forward to next week, or what they are currently focusing on. This can help them to open up and share their interests so that you can engage with them and learn more about it.
However, if they do not feel like engaging, it is best not to push them for an answer -let them tell you about it when they’re ready
4. Point out good behaviourer
Everyone likes compliments. When you give someone a compliment in front of everyone, they will feel important, appreciated and acknowledged as important in the family.
If you notice your children using good table manners or trying different foods, you can compliment their good behaviour. You should tell them that they are doing well and to keep up with the right behaviour. Having a reward system can also ensure that the good behaviour continues!
The benefits of having family mealtimes are overwhelming. For most people, family mealtimes can lead to good eating habits, establishing good relationships with your children, and instilling confidence in your little ones. With the tips above, you too can build a tight bond with your family and make mealtimes less stressful overall!