While it’s unlikely you need family mealtime chit-chat tips (especially if you have a chatterbox on your hands), the evening meal is still a great time to practice being present with each other. After all, in our modern world of iPhones and iPads, life is chock full of distractions—like really full—and unplugging from the gadgets for dinner is the perfect way to focus on what’s really important. Family mealtime need not be an everyday occurrence—life is busy—but when you can make it happen, make the most of it!
1. Bond by telling stories of the day.
Sometimes it can be hard to get kids talking about their day! Instead of asking a general question (like “How was your day?”), try asking him about his favourite part of the day and least favourite part of the day—it helps him focus on a few moments in time rather than all of them. If you’re lucky, you’ll get some good details about the friend he played with on the playground, the grasshopper he found and examined, or how he dressed up like a firefighter and saved the day.
2. Talk about the food on your plate.
Don’t take for granted that your kid knows everything about cauliflower (even if you’ve served it a million times). Ask her what it tastes like, talk about the texture and colour, and if you happen to know the health benefits of that particular food, quiz her on why it’s good for her. She just might surprise you with the right answer!
3. Model great manners.
Standard-issue manners usually include kids saying “please” at the end of an “I-need-something” question or sitting while they eat. (You know, as opposed to dancing around the table doing the Hokey Pokey.) Those are great for starters, but you can take it further. Add these to your polite-behaviour bag: passing the salt and pepper, clearing their own plates from the table, enjoying conversation together, and last but not least, putting all phones away while you eat, chat, and share time together.
( source kindercare.com)
At Two Rivers Early Learning centre we promote healthily and balancing diets and we encourage educators to discuss foods during children’s mealtime. This provides teachers and children an important opportunity to talk about nutrition (such as who likes what and why each food is good for our health), to discuss why it’s important to try new foods and to simply bond with each other.