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 Family Mealtime

Work, school, sports practices, music lessons, rehearsals, and many other scheduling conflicts can make it seem impossible to sit down together for a family meal. We get so caught up in all of our commitments that we often end up eating breakfast bars on the go, and picking up dinner at the drive-through. A recent study by Eckrick showed that 40% of American families eat dinner together only three or fewer times a week. The report also showed that 88% of families would like to increase the time spent with their family at the dinner table.

It can be hard to work your family meals around your crazy life, but here are 7 reasons why you should try!

After I learned the positive impacts of having mealtimes with my family, I started doing my best to make it happen at least three times a week. My husband and I sit down together each Saturday and make our meal plan for the upcoming week. We make a list of everything we need for the week and get our grocery shopping done. If I’m feeling really ahead of the game, I even prep things that can be prepped for later in the week on Sunday afternoon to save time on week nights. We usually take turns cooking. Our daughter is only 10 months old, so she’s not much help in the kitchen (yet). Once dinner is done we eat together at the table. We even pull up the baby’s high chair to the table so she’s eating dinner with us too. She’s already got the art of back and forth conversation down. We can’t understand her babbling nonsense yet, but she understands that people take turns when they’re talking.

Making mealtime a priority can change your family dynamics in so many positive ways. These are only a few of the major benefits. One thing that is important to remember is that every family is different. What works for my family might not work for yours and vice versa. Tailor your mealtimes to YOUR family and find what works for you. If you can’t make it work every day, pick a couple nights a week. If dinners are impossible for your family, have breakfast together each morning. The most important thing is to bond with your family and create healthy conversation and connection.