The lost art of family dining

Family life is busy. When you’re juggling everyone’s activities plus work, dinner can become something that is slotted around other things. Work, netball practice, math tutoring. Before you know it, you haven’t had a meal together for weeks.

But dinner can be the best time to stop and connect. Setting aside the time for family dinners can make a big difference to how you feel. All it takes it a bit of planning.

You’ll have greater success at getting everyone to the table if it’s easy. Try to find a day where there are no extra-curricular activities, when you can create the space for a relaxed gathering. Needing to rush from basketball to be home in time for dinner doesn’t put anyone in a good head space!

Human beings are creatures of habit. Put regular family dinners into the calendar and keep them rolling. Eventually it will become second nature for everyone. Soon you will wonder how you managed to go weeks without getting together!

Planning meals for the week can save you a lot of time and heartache. No more last-minute trips to the shop, and one less thing to think about that day.

Katering at Home has a huge selection of Family Favourites that you can take your family through, and by choosing a meal that is ready to eat, all you have to worry about is putting the oven on in time!

While it’s inevitable that some nights everyone will be eating at different times, by getting your family’s input on their favourite meal, you can ensure they will be keen to eat dinner together.

American writer Laurie Colwin said, “The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety and satisfaction. A person cooking is a person giving: Even the simplest food is a gift.”

Getting kids involved in the preparation of dinner can give them a sense of accomplishment and make them feel that they, too, are giving something back to their family.

Ask your kids to make desert, and however simple it is, make sure you show them that you appreciate their efforts.

Dr Kristy Goodwin is a children’s technology and development expert. She says, “As a mum (and a researcher), I firmly believe that we need to keep meal-times as a sacred time where we unplug from our devices and connect with each other (where we can, most of the time). The dinner table needs to be a sacred place, where we’re not distracted by alerts and notifications.”

Make it a rule that all devices (for adults and children) are left far away from the dinner table. If you create the boundaries your dinner table will become a space reserved for uninterrupted conversations.

At the end of the day dinner is the best time to bring your family together, after all, everyone needs to eat! With just a little bit of preparation (and a cheeky helping hand from Katering at Home) you can make sure that the whole family comes to the table for some quality time together.