ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bring Your Family Together at Mealtime

Updated on February 28, 2012

Let Your Kids Choose a Fun Place Setting

A simple plate with portion spaces makes mealtime fun!
A simple plate with portion spaces makes mealtime fun! | Source

Make Family Mealtime Fun for Kids

Eating together as a family is important. No matter how old your kids are, you should be insisting on mealtimes together at least a few times each week. The older your kids get, the more challenging this may be, but it's doable and the benefits are tremendous. One way to encourage family mealtime is to make it fun and personal for each family member.

How Do You Make Mealtime Fun and Personal?

There are many ways you can encourage your family to enjoy meals together and many inexpensive ideas to make mealtimes fun and personalized. You can assign each family member a certain night of the week where they are in charge of meal planning. You can create an ambiance in your dining room or eating space that encourages relaxation and togetherness. You can make mealtimes personal by letting each family member choose their own special place setting.

Assigning Meal Planning

Even a toddler can take a turn planning a meal once a week, or more! By the time your child is two you have a good sense of what he will eat and what his favorite foods are. For the very young you can have pictures of various foods from each food group and let him put the pictures together to make a meal. Explain the food groups and what a balanced meal means, using terms easy enough for her to understand. You can make it as involved as you want to, depending on the child. For instance, some kids may enjoy every aspect of meal planning, including the shopping for ingredients and preparing the meal. Other kids may only be ready to put the pictures together and eat the meal.

For older kids, the experience can include the elements of being responsible for creating the grocery list, shopping for ingredients, helping with the cooking and serving, etc. Older kids might even enjoy the extra challenge of coming up with meals from different cultures, choosing a new one each week or each month.

Create a Special Ambiance

Encouraging your kids to come together for family meals might be easier if you create an ambiance that is fun and relaxing for all. You can do that by making sure the table is family friendly with enough room for everyone. Who says candles are for special occasions? Use candles, tablecloths, napkins with napkin holders, play soft music. Try having a question of the day, or ask all family members to name something positive about their day. There are literally tons of ways to make family meals enjoyable.

Use Personalized Place Settings

There are many stores where you can find table settings that are unique, special, or fun. You can find plates, silverware, cups, bowls, napkins, place mats, and more that have special characters or fun themes. Allowing your child to choose her own place setting will make setting the table fun and exciting. Plus, mealtime becomes another opportunity to showcase their own personal style.

Making name tags for place settings is another way to personalize mealtime. You can let each child design their own name place card, using their own choice of artistic medium. Then you can laminate the place cards to use over and over.

There are so many ways to involve your children in healthy eating and family mealtimes! Participating in meal planning, cooking, and setting the table are all ways you can instill a life long pattern of choosing healthy foods and enjoying every aspect of making a meal that tastes great and is fun to eat.

Make Mealtime Family Time

How Often Does Your Family Eat Together?

See results

Make Mealtime Planning a Family Affair

Take turns planning meals
Take turns planning meals | Source

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 

      6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      I love the idea of personal place settings. When I was a kid, it was always my job to set the table for the evening meal. At some point, I started arranging the cutlery in unique "sculptures" for each person's setting. It helped make the chore fun!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)