Eating at home as a family should be an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, this is not always the case for most families. In reality, many parents dread the evening mealtime, finding it a time filled with stress, arguments and tension. So, don’t worry, you are not alone.
With this in mind, I have developed simple methods that promise to transform your family’s mealtime. These three simple steps together will help your family develop positive habits around food and eating at home.
Here are three ways you can encourage your family to eat together more.
Grow your own food
It can be as simple as starting a veggie patch at home, or even just planting some seeds in pots. Explore growing some fun foods such as onions, carrots, and celery by growing them from end cuts. To make things fun and interesting for the kids, you can plant veggies that your family might not usually eat, your children’s favourite veggies and ones that are a little unique or vibrantly coloured like purple carrots.
Come to the table ready to talk
Whether it’s the topic of the day or reporting on your highlights or low-points of the day, you can discuss them as a family. This is a great way to discover new interests, identify issues, solve smaller problems, and work out plans for the weekend. Celebrate wins, and identify early any upcoming challenges by establishing a regular habit of sharing over a meal.
This also helps everyone be ready for eating out in restaurants, or when you are visiting other families. The additional bonus of this is that you all learn to have respectful and enjoyable conversations across generational boundaries.
When reminiscing about life as a child or teenager, many people fondly remember family meal times as the best part of the day, as it was the time when they had their parents' attention.
That’s why it’s important to set boundaries around mealtimes. Mealtimes should mean manners and a device-free environment.
Encourage help with the meal preparation
From writing the weekly shopping list and visiting the supermarket, to actually cooking the meal, involve the whole family in the preparation process. This includes taking turns to prepare parts of or even the entire meal. Whoever is in charge should be encouraged to take ownership of what is being cooked when it is their turn.
Alternatively, make mealtime a learning experience. From learning how to peel potatoes, to preparing a salad, right up to making an omelette and setting the table properly, children love to be involved, stimulated and learning.
Get started today
If you’re looking for solutions to create change, you’ve come to the right place. Dr Gary’s very own book ‘Ride to Life’ is a program that informs and makes it easy for families to take the very first courageous steps in making a difference. If you’re ready to start your family on the path to a happy and healthy life, head here to grab your copy of ‘Ride to Life’ today.