Add the points applicable to your activity
Family Unity: Add 10 pts
Spend time together preparing and eating the meal
Service: Add 10 pts
Creating a meal that everyone will share
Health: Add 10 pts
Learn to create healthy food and make wise eating decisions
Education: Add 10 pts
Learn culinary skills
Spiritual: Add 10 pts
Have prayers before the meal and discuss spiritual topics during dinner
Having regular family meals can teach kids the importance of eating healthy and helps them avoiding snacking or eating out rather than eating a full nutritional meal.
Parents have a huge affect on their teens, believe it or not. Don’t pass up the opportunity to be able to sit down with your teens and find out what is going on in their lives. It will show them that you care about them and want to be part of their lives. Don’t let your teens think that work or other activities or obligations are more important than them.
Let everyone get involved in the kitchen – kids can stir and add ingredients. Take the opportunity to teach your teens a new culinary skill. You can teach your kids the proper way to set a table. You may even want to sit down with the family and figure out a schedule or at least a menu of dinner ideas and make sure you get everyone’s favorites.
Your kids learn how to serve others from your example, even just to other members of your family. They will enjoy seeing and participating in creating a meal to give someone who might need it. Don’t forget those new moms, someone who’s lost a family member, or anyone going through a rough time.
For many in this busy world, this may be the only time your family has to sit together and pray or to talk about things of a spiritual nature. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with your family about how to deal with situations in their lives such as making choices about relationships, how to forgive someone who’s hurt them or how to repent if they’ve made a bad choice.
Now that everyone is finally together in one room, figure out who is going where when and write it all down on the calendar. That way if anyone needs rides or anything conflicts, you can deal with it then rather than getting mad at each other later when Bobby’s stuck at soccer practice and Sally is late for ballet.
Make it Fun
If you want to encourage the kids to come to family meals and maybe even bring their friends, try occassionally doing a silly meal where all of the items are the same color, or start with the same letter, or do dinner japanese style and eat on the floor, or maybe even do a picnic in the backyard.
Or you could just ask for the kids’ favorite meal choices and then fix each child’s favorite choice one week.
Try something new! One week, you could ask the kids what foods they’ve never had that they would like to try or you could just fix something you know they’ve never had and let them try it out.