When I was growing up, we used to sit around the kitchen table and eat together. My parents and all five of us would gather, usually for dinner, and share a meal and conversation.
Families change, schedules change, and if you’re like us, meals are experienced in front of the TV… in silence.
Recently I decided to resurrect the bygone tradition of actually sharing a meal with my loved ones, free from all of the distractions that make family dinners nearly impossible nowadays.
Here are a few ideas that can get you started:
1. Pick a day of the week when you know everyone will be available. Holidays are the obvious choice, but throughout the year, I find that Sunday nights are usually best for my family.
2. Put the cell phones away! The whole point of sharing a meal together is the ‘togetherness’ we can experience without outside distractions. Just you and the family making memories, especially for the little ones.
3. Invest in some cloth napkins and plate chargers. Dressing up a table with nice accents makes a family dinner more like the special event that it is.
4. Try to match the cuisine with the decor. Mexican food, Italian food, and Chinese food are all favorites in my house. The meal doesn’t have to be too elaborate (seriously, ordering take-out counts), so long as you try to add at least one element of decor that matches the theme of the meal. I tend to get a little bit carried away like I did on our last Chinese food night.
I’m always looking for more inspiration! What are some of your favorite family dinner ideas?