Does your Family Live to Eat?!
My husband's grandmother once said to him, "There are two kinds of people in this world: People who live to eat and people who eat to live." She then went on to explain that she was a "live to eat" kind of person and he was an "eat to live" kind of person. I definitely relate to grandma on this one… I am a "live to eat" kind of person too. I love to savor my food, go out to restaurants, taste new recipes, cook, and spend time in the kitchen. But unfortunately, I live in a household with people who mostly "eat to live" (unless there is chocolate involved).
I may be the only person in the world with this problem, but I have a hard time keeping my family at the dinner table! We always sit down as a family to eat dinner, but it doesn't last very long. I have kids that struggle to sit in their chairs or complain about the meal I made. I have a husband that often eats his food really fast and then is off to his next activity. Is it possible to teach a family to sit down, savor their food, and enjoy meal times at the table?
I came up with a few ideas, but I would love to hear some of yours as well!
- Focus on creating great family conversations . Have family members take turns asking questions and starting conversations. If you need some help getting started, make a jar of dinner time conversation starters. You could ask questions like, "What was your favorite thing you did today?" Or, "If you could go on vacation anywhere, right now, where would you go and why?"
- Involve everyone in making dinner . One meal that my kids get really excited is homemade pizza night. They love to roll out their dough, spread the sauce, and add their own toppings. If you involve the family in preparing the meal, it might help them be more excited about it.
- Start a family dinner book club . Read a chapter of a book at the dinner table each night. Or if you have young children, have them take turns picking a favorite picture book. Discuss and ask questions about the book.
- Learn something new together . You could have a new word of the day that you learn each night. Learn the words to a favorite poem or verse of scripture. Find out what family members are interested in learning about and plan some mini-lessons.
- Have a joke of the day . My kids are really into knock-knock jokes right now,… and we could really use some new ones! Check out some joke books from the library and have fun.
- Plan special themed dinners . Of course, you can't do this every night, but every once in a while this might get your family really excited about dinner time. For example, you could plan a "Manners Night" where you set out your nice dishes, everyone dresses up in fancy clothes and practices their best manners.
Have fun coming up with things that will help your family live for dinner time! And please share them with me.
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