This post is sponsored by Masterfoods
When we were approached to partner with MasterFoods on the Lets Make Dinnertime Matter campaign and sent this really emotional video it got us thinking about the importance of sharing dinner with those you love the most.
Dinner Time is so important for families to connect with each other. We have compiled our Top 5 tips for having meaningful connections at the dinner table.
- Work together to prepare the meal
This gives everyone the opportunity to relax and talk about the dinner they are about to eat. It’s also a wonderful way to teach kids how to be independent and pass down those special ‘Mum meals’ to their children. It’s also a wonderful idea to meal plan as a family, perhaps each child gets to pick what’s for dinner one night of the week.
2. Make dinner time Fun and change the scenery
Shake things up in the house and give the family something to look forward to at dinner time. You could have a picnic in the lounge room, a BBQ on a lovely hot night or eat outside under the stars. Our children LOVE to dress up so we sometimes have ‘theme’ nights where we all dress up and pretend to be a super hero family. This is a great way to enjoy each others company and get some fun conversations happening.
3. Make your dinner times screen free
We are all guilty of giving our phones, iPads and tablets a good work out, but make the dinner table a time for talking only. No phones, no tv’s and no distractions from each other’s company. Just pure, honest conversation.
4. Plan ahead
All families are super busy. Some days there are swimming lessons after school, some days there are tennis or piano lessons. If you know you have these things coming up then planning ahead is a great way to make sure that everyone can still sit down together in the evening. Pop the slow cooker on in the mornings or do a double batch of a meal during the week that you can freeze and quickly reheat on your ‘crazy nights’. You want the focus to be sitting down at the dinner table with your family – not running around putting a last minute meal together.
5. Play a ‘Finish the Story Game’
One person starts a story, but saying one sentence, each person takes turns in adding their own sentence to the story. This can often be hilarious and a great way to connect with each other.
6. Have dinner at the same time
Ensure that the family knows when the family dinner will happen. Again, this may change on some of our ‘crazy days’, but if every one is aware of the schedule, they can all make sure they are present and in a routine. Kids thrive on routine! We think it’s best to eat early too, tired children are seldom hungry. We try to have dinner early and follow up with some fruit or yoghurt snack before bedtime.
7. Play a ‘Manners Game’
If someone forgets their manners, an object is placed in front of them (it could be a specific cup, pen etc), the next person to forget their manners then gets the object. The last person to have the object at the end of dinner has to clean up! This is a fun way to teach manners without the negative nagging. A great way to get family conversations happening too!
8. Play a ‘Mystery Food Game’
Mum or Dad places a ‘Mystery Food’ on a covered plate, everyone takes turns (wearing a blind fold) to guess what it is by tasting it. The winner doesn’t have to do the dishes. This is a great way to encourage kids to try new foods and also to get everyone talking about food. A fun conversation starter!
9. Role model good behaviours
Kids learn most behaviours from watching others. Whether it’s eating vegetables or using good table manners, they are watching and learning all the time. If you want your children to communicate and participate in dinner conversations – you as a parent need to also contribute to the communications. It’s great for kids to witness their parents talking about their own day at work or what they liked and didn’t like about the day. If you’re a single parent be sure to share parts of your day at the table as it’s important for children to listen and be involved with all the members of the family.
10. Have a ‘Conversation Jar’
We’ve compiled a FREE printable with 40 positive questions. These can be printed, then cut out and placed in a jar of your choice. Family members are encouraged to take turns in taking out a question to start a conversation. This is a super easy way to get fun conversations happening at the table! The conversation jar results in some really interesting discussions and you often discover new things about each other
Download it here.
The Lifting the Lid on Dinnertime report showed that there are so many dinnertime distractions.
The most important part of dinner time is to spend quality time with family and really connect with each other. Let’s all try to focus on what’s important and make family meal times matter. #MakeDinnertimeMatter
You can find out more about the survey and study’s results here.
What does your family dinner look like? Who do you make dinnertime matter with?
Let us know in comments 🙂
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