Thursday 3 June 2021

10 ways to make family meals more enjoyable.

We try to eat together a few times a week at least, all around the dining room table. It's a great way to catch up and have some quality time together as a family. Sometimes it can be a chore getting us all together but it is really worth the effort.

Eating around a table

Making family meals fun is important. We don't want to be sat around the table in silence. Here are a few ideas how to make family meals more enjoyable.

Don't rush meal times!
Make sure you have plenty of time for the meal. It is no fun rushing your food and not having chance to talk and spend time together. If you or family are watching the clock it will feel forced. Set aside at least half an hour for a family meal time. We have the rule that no one leaves the table until everyone has finished which encourages the speedy eaters to slow down a little and enjoy their food a little more.

Make regular times to eat together!
If you can plan certain days and times that you will have a family meal there is no excuse for family members not being there and having other plans. We always eat together on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday evening because I know my family will all be here.

Make sure they come to the table hungry!
There’s nothing like hunger to encourage a child to try something they might not like. My girls will eat anything when they are hungry and are way less fussy. If we are having a family meal I try to limit after school snacks.

Get everyone involved!
Involving your kids in choosing and preparing family meals increases the chance that they’ll eat it. It could also encourage fussy eaters to try new foods. There are life skills to be learned: laying the table, cooking, washing the dishes and tidying up.

Be creative!
Have fun with the meals you prepare. Give some new recipes a go or get the kids to try out cooking the evening meal. On a weekend we sometimes try to cook a takeaway type meal which we always enjoy.

Invite other people over!
Now that lots of the Covid restrictions have been eased we can have people visiting again. It is sometimes nice to have extended family over, after all we have a year to catch up on. Inviting your children's friends gives you chance to get to know them better and will keep the kids happy too.

Use meal times as a time to talk.
Family meal times a great way to have a chat and catch up with what's going on in everyone's life. I find more out about my girls now that they are older around the dinner table than at any other time.

Have no distractions!
We have the rule of no phones at the table and I make sure the TV is switched off so there is no distractions. The kids are more likely to talk if there is nothing else going on in the house.

Have a good dessert!
The nights we eat together we always have a fancy dessert, something we wouldn't normally have if we were eating at different times. Banoffee pie, apple pie and custard or something like chocolate fudge cake and ice cream.

Take the night off from nagging!
Make family meal times the night where you don't worry if the kids don’t clean their plate or only take 3 bites of their veggies. Look the other way and relax.

How do you make meal times fun?


  1. We are kind of an anomaly in that we eat dinner together nearly every single night; sure there are times when my husband works late or we have something going on but mostly we manage a good 6 meals a week together. We find that eating outside in the summertime makes for longer, more relaxed meals together.

  2. We always eat together at dinner time - even though it's super hard or we end up with takeout. Yes we also have no screens whilst we eat and everyone stays until everyone has finished. We also do highlights where we talk about our favourite part of the day so far.

    we don't generally have pudding but we do sometimes have loads of fruit in the middle with melted chocolate as a treat.

  3. I love these tips for making family meal times more fun. One of the nice things about lockdown was having my husband home for dinner every night and being able to enjoy family meal times. It's such a good time to be able to sit and talk about things. #MMBC