How to Engage With Your Child During Dinnertime
It is surprising how few families actually sit down in the evening for dinner together. The number is diminishing with children being overscheduled with activities and after school events and parents possibly holding more than one job at different hours of the day. In some cases dinner is often something “grabbed” as you run out of the house.
But many families still insist on eating dinner together. It is important. It is a time to sit down together as a family and share how your day went with those that you love.
As children get older they can often stop communicating! Here are some ideas that will help them open up.
1. Involve your kids. This includes the grocery run too! We have recently found a local produce grower who sells produce at a very reasonable cost. Pick your own is a great way of getting a dose of the outdoors too!.
2. Make them feel useful in the kitchen. Some jobs, such as cutting with sharp knives you may not want your kids to participate in, but make sure you keep their interest.
3. Give out jobs! Such as setting the table, fixing drinks, name places etc.
4. Show an interest in your child – ask about their day.
5. Make sure that all family members are taking part in the conversation.
6. Have a “No electronics at the table” policy – this includes the adults!
7. Ask for ideas for a menu plan. Maybe rotate their favorite meals.
8. Try new foods and ask your kids what they like/dislike.
9. Pay attention. If you ask your kids their opinion – pay attention to their answers!
When eating meals together kids are likely to receive better nutrition. A simple fact: “when kids eat with their families, they eat better”. A family eating together means kids are more likely to eat a nutritionally balanced meal, lower in sugar and fat content, than if they prepare or purchase meals on their own.
Make dinner a family affair from start to finish and teach your children life skills at the same time!