Family dinner time can often be a highlight of the day. A chance for you to enjoy a meal together, catch up on what you have all been up to, and take a moment to enjoy each other’s company without the distractions of homework, work, or household chores. But do you make the most of dinner time? Do you enjoy it or find that your family enjoys the meals you prepare? Here are some of the ideas that could help you make more of family dinner times.
Make the food more fun and appealing
The one thing many mothers like the idea of but perhaps can’t implement is making the food look appealing. But I know that if it visually looks good, it may encourage your children and family members to try things more and enjoy family dinner time exploring new foods. If it is uninviting, then they are less likely to want to. I have heard people have great success with making smiley faces or little scenes on the plate for young children. As well as presenting a meal more cleanly on the place for older members of the family. It may be worth your while to give it a try.
Encourage your children to cook with you
I think a great idea is to try and get your children to cook with you or spend more time with you in the kitchen before you sit down to enjoy the meal. It’s a great way to encourage them to try different ingredients as well as see what goes into their food. There is also a sense of achievement of creating something themselves that can make them feel proud of what they have done.
Sitting down as a family
It’s lovely to be able to sit down as a family and enjoy the evening meal, but more often than not because of work commitments, this may not be the case every day. The truth is, you need to relax about this. As long as you get the chance to eat together as a family at some point during your week what harm is there to eating separately from your children during the midweek rush. This could potentially free up time for you to focus on what your children are eating during the week and make some meals specific for them. However, it is always wise to eat as a family so perhaps reworking your schedule could be the answer or make the most of your weekends.
Try different recipes for old family favourites
There are some recipes that the whole family love. They tend to be the food you make over and over again because everyone loves it. It will likely be something comfort food-based and widely popular. Things like spaghetti bolognese and pizza are just some of the things that can be popular amongst the family. But these can be difficult to cook, especially if you are looking at a different lifestyle choice like vegetarianism or vegan. This is where you could consider looking at your favourite family meals and tweaking them to suit the new healthy diet you are trying to encourage. Bolognese can be made with a meat substitute, or even solely using plant-based ingredients. Pizza can be made in a different way. So if you are pursuing a gluten-free diet, you could consider a different way of preparing the dough. Or even try a vegetable base like using cauliflower.
Be clever with your cooking
It’s never nice to be devious, but in this case, I think you can make an exception. A great way to avoid the drama with a fussy eater in the family is to hide certain foods in meals. For example, a hidden vegetable sauce could be the perfect base for a family’s favourite pasta dish, while also being packed with nutrients and vitamins from other vegetables. It’s always good to try and encourage your children to eat, but sometimes at least this way you know they are getting the balance just right.
One of the biggest dilemmas many people can face at mealtime is what to cook. You may have forgotten that something needs defrosting from the freezer, or not have all the ingredients in for the meal you had been thinking about all day. Meal planning takes this stress away and enables you to plan your meals for the week. You will also then shop accordingly for that meal plan meaning you will always have the ingredients in for that meal on that day. It certainly can make life easier.
I hope that these ideas will help you to make more of family dinner times.