There is no denying that eating dinner together as a family is the best thing to do. It provides important family time, it encourages kids to eat more vegetables and fruit, kids are more likely to try new foods if they see you eating them, it helps your kids learn table manners, kids are more likely to talk to you about important things happening in their lives, the list goes on and on. We all know these points, but making it a reality can be really hard.
I grew up with family dinners and remember them fondly, even the angst-ridden teen year dinners when half the time someone left the table in a huff. And I really want my kids to have that experience too! (Not the huff part, but that’s probably inevitable too).
Over the summer our family switched to dinners together every night of the week and it was wonderful. The boys loved it. My five-year-old jumped up to set the table every night and my “picky”-three-year-old tried all kinds of new foods he never would have touched otherwise. It was an undeniable success!
But the school year has started and between waking up earlier and longer school days they just can’t make it to a 6:30 dinnertime, which then means an 8:30 bedtime. So we have scaled back to three nights a week. This is what is working for us now, but I have definitely noticed that the boys miss the daily dinners and my husband and I do too. Maybe we’ll be able to get back to the daily dinners once adjustment to Kindergarten and five-days-a-week-preschool have taken place. In the meantime, three nights a week it is.
Do you do family dinners? How many times a week?