I admit it…. even I let family dinner slide sometimes. But I have one serious trick I keep up my sleeve to create a fun family dinner and have the kids asking if we can sit together for an evening meal!
Make Family Dinner Count
Gathering the family for a daily meal offers numerous ways to make lasting impressions. Promoting one more family meal each week is an educational program created by the Food Marketing Institute Foundation and the nation’s grocery stores. And the benefits are countless!
Spending time with adults where they can observe positive behaviors in action teaches kids valuable life skills such as using table manners and taking turns talking without interrupting.
In a busy home where various activities and demands create divides in time and attention, family meals let everyone come together to honor the family unit. Demonstrating value for family and making this together time a priority helps teach youngsters lessons about the importance of work-life balance that they will carry into adulthood.
Time to relax.
Not only is mealtime a time to nourish bodies, it’s a chance to force each member of the family to pause and put a temporary hold on the chaotic pace of life. Kids and grownups alike can benefit from a daily break to recharge not only physically, but mentally as well.
A family meal tradition has all the makings for fond childhood memories. An activity that plays an important role in the family’s schedule is sure to create a lasting impression for kids when they look back on their formative years.
Learn more about the positive impact regular meals at home together can have for your kids’ emotional, intellectual and physical well-being at nationalfamilymealsmonth.org.
The One Trick You Need to Create a Fun Family Dinner
Are you ready for my one trick to creating a fun family dinner?
Personally, our dinner conversation was getting pretty stale. My boys were throwing one-sentence responses and that was about it. I couldn’t get them to tell me anything about their day. So when I learned about a program being offered by ParentsTogether as a way to mix up our talks and give us interesting dinner conversation starters, I was intrigued.
And when I say intrigued, I mean blown away! This program has completely changed our family dinner time.
Q4KIDZ is a program that texts you an intriguing question every day. My kids have been enjoying this program so much that they even ask what the question is before we even have a chance to sit down at the table. Sometimes it’s when we’re in the car or just hanging out. Now that’s a hit in my books.
We’ve had some pretty awesome conversations. Some unbelievably silly and hysterical. Others insightful and serious. But all have been wonderful.
Perfect Family Dinner Conversation Starters
Here are my 20 of my favorite recent questions (reprinted with permission). Start with these questions as the perfect family dinner conversation starters. Then sign up for Q4KIDZ below to get ongoing dinner conversation starters.
- If there was one thing you could do in the world and people would remember you by it, what would that thing be?
- If you had to make the weirdest pizza ever, what toppings would you put on it?
- Would you rather live on a submarine for a month or on a train for a year?
- If you had a pick an animal to drive you to school one day, what animal would you pick?
- If you could change the ending of any story, what story would you change and why?
- Imagine you are given a remote that rewinds, fastforwards and pauses time. What would you do with this remote? Would you tell anyone you have it?
- When cleaning your room, you discover a mysterious box under your bed. What’s inside? How did it get there?
- If you could give your pet (or favorite animal) any super power, what would that super power be and why?
- If you were told you could be invisible for an entire day, what would you do and where would you go?
- You have a pen pal that lives on the other side of the world. What would you tell them about being a kid where you live?
- You just had a new friend move into the neighborhood. Where is the first place you would take them in your town?
- What makes you a fun person to be around?
- If you could go back in time, what modern technology would you take with you? How do you think they would react?
- If you could decide what other people dream about, what dreams would you give them?
- If you could go back to yesterday and do something different, what would you do?
- You’ve come across a wishing well in the forest, but you have to make a wish for someone else. Who do you pick and what do you wish for?
- If you were elected the director of problem solving for the world, what problem would you solve first?
- If you had a door in your house that led to a secret world, what would your secret world be like?
- Imagine you’ve been elected director of problem solving for the world. What problem would you solve first and how?
- If you sneakers could walk on their own, where would go at night?
Get Ongoing Family Dinner Conversation Starters
Don’t you just love these questions? They can completely change how your family connects and change the table talk. You can easily get daily dinner conversations withQ4KIDS. It’s easy to sign up. Just visit the Q4KIDZ website. Tell them Jenny sent you!
Q4KIDZ is a project of ParentsTogether, a new national parents association dedicated to helping all families thrive.
And if you have teenagers, consider the following If books series, which my husband and I just love (affiliate). They are filled with tons of “If” questions for older kids (including me and my husband):
Source: Food Marketing Institute