Making Time to Eat Family Meals
Enjoying meals together as a family is a wonderful ritual and provides a natural opportunity for bonding time. But thanks to the distractions of technology and the challenge of balancing busy schedules for multiple family members, it can be tough to carve out that quality time. Below, I’ve put together a few of my best suggestions for making time to eat family meals that everyone will enjoy.
- Unplug: Create a phone zone in the kitchen for everyone to drop their handheld devices into when in the area so mealtime never happens with one hand on a phone!
- Cook Slow: On busy days, I credit my slow cooker for helping me prepare a delicious meal. I leave it on low throughout the day while I run errands and get stuff done around the house. When I’m finished, have a delicious meal to serve! Some people even opt to slow cook meals overnight. There are recipes that will please even the pickiest eaters in the group.
- Play a Storytelling Game: If your family is like mine, the answer to “What did you do today?” is “Nothing!” Get all the details over dinner with a fun game. Each family member draws a stick from the jar and answers things like “What conversation did you have today that was the shortest?” or “Where in the world would you like this meal to be taking place?”
- Go for a Picnic: Dinner doesn’t always have to be around the kitchen table. Sometimes busy families will find themselves at a soccer field or between errands at mealtime. Embrace family fun with a dinner picnic on-the-go!
- Serve a Sweet Treat: Dessert has always been my favorite part of any meal, and it is easy to get in a dinner routine that is so basic that ending sweetly is overlooked. Surprise the family with something that they will dream about later.
- Think of Breakfast as the New Dinner: It is easier for my family to congregate over the breakfast table than the dinner table. Instead of trying to force a dinnertime that may not happen, think about fitting the family meal in where it works best.
In collaboration with National 4-H Council. Visit 4-H.org for more tips, ideas and activities for the entire family.
Holly Homer is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®