This post has been compensated. All opinions are mine alone. Fun Ways To Break The Routine At Family Dinner Time
We all know how important family dinner time is. In a perfect world, every member of our family would happily sit down at the table with freshly washed hands (without having to be reminded,) eat a delicious meal without any turned up noses, have brilliant family conversation, and ultimately have a pleasant, unrushed family dinner time. However, any parent knows how hard that is to accomplish! Families are busy, kids have different lunch times and thus, different variations of hunger at dinner time, different likes and dislikes, different attitudes, etc, etc, etc. We are all different, but you can have some control of family dinner times with a little planning.
Let Kids Plan The Menu
This does not have to be as scary as it sounds. Have kids write down their favorite foods on a sheet of paper. Then, sit down with them and together, look at the week’s schedule and let them plan either the whole menu one night, or a side item Wednesday, the main meal Friday, etc. It is up to you how much they plan, but doing it together will give them ownership and let them know that you value their opinion!
Go Outside For A Picnic
Dinnertime is often stressful in our house. I am cooking and the kids are being loud. By the time we all sit down to eat, we are all on edge and things do not get better! Sometimes a change of scenery makes all the difference and changes our attitudes. Grab a large towel or a blanket and head outside for a fun family picnic.
Take Kids To The Grocery Store
I know, taking the kids to grocery store can be terrifying! Give them a list or an ad, make it an adventure and make it fun. And most importantly, let them have a choice.
Have A Fancy Dinner
If I am being honest here, most nights we just push the papers on the dinner table to one end and I do not even worry about cleaning off the table. That may sound horrible, but it is life, especially when we are busy and trying to eat dinner quickly before we head to soccer practice! I have found that my boys love to help clean and enjoy dinner more when we take time to make it special. Every so often, I tell them we are having a “fancy dinner” and they jump into action, helping me clean the table, use fancy placemats and matching dishes. We may even get out the fancy drinkware!
Use Colorful Dishes
If you are still using your wedding dishes or baby spoons, try livening up the dinner routine with new, colorful dishes. Better yet, let the kids choose their favorites to make it more fun for them. Let go of the fact that your dishes have to match and embrace the fun!
Have A Themed Dinner
The boys are all about Star Wars, sports, knights, and Moana right now. They get so excited about anything and everything related to their favorite things! Sometimes something as simple as asking the boys to dress up in their Star Wars costumes or drinking out of their favorite sports’ team cups is all it takes for them to be engaged in the meal and family time.