Eating together as a family delivers benefits that seem unrelated to eating, such as reduced risk of depression and better academic performance. Why is this? Is it the type of food that we eat when we’re together?
When families eat meals together they do seem to eat more fruits and vegetables, but researchers believe it’s more than that.
When you eat with your children you have the opportunity to:
- Pass on important values
- Connect with your children through conversation
- Provide a sense of security and togetherness for your children
If you’re not in the habit of eating together as a family, you may find it a bit strange to start, especially if you have older children. Use these conversation starters as a way to make it fun.
You could write out each one on a small piece of cardstock and place it in a bucket, hat, shoebox, etc. Pull one out during your meals and get talking!
- What was the best and worst part of your day?
- If you could have a super hero power, what would you choose and why?
- What is your favourite memory of _____? (use this one to honour a family member who lives far away or who has passed away)
- If you had to choose to be blind or deaf, what would it be and why?
- What is your favourite time of year or holiday?
- Think about something nice you could do for someone else today.
For many more ideas, check out http://thefamilydinnerproject.org/tag/ages-2-7
They have questions divided by age to suit any family.