How can we encourage families to spend more time eating together?

@samrat16 (2442)
India
April 15, 2007 9:12pm CST
Aren't we moving away from eachother in families? In old times every person of family used to be on dinning table at some fixed time and whole family used to have lunch and dinner together but nowadays it's not like that. So, my question is how can we get them all together to dinning table?? All I can think of is set a specific time for eating each day, when everyone is at home. Get everyone involved in the cooking process. For example, small children can make dessert, older children can look up recipes, while the parents make the main meal and help the younger ones. Decide what meal will be eaten that day quite early on so that there is time to delegate tasks and to prepare some foods in advance, particularly if it's a busy day and there's less time to eat together.
20 people like this
42 responses
• United States
16 Apr 07
Those are some great ideas. Every family member should participate; but, it isn't always possible-especially when children get older. I grew up with Sunday dinners-where the whole family(aunts,uncles,cousins too) got together. It's one of my favorite childhood memories. Unfortunately, I think they are on their way to being a thing of the past too.
• Philippines
16 Apr 07
I know what you're talking about and I miss those days. I remember hating it back then because it meant I had to miss a few valuable minutes of my tv shows. We weren't allowed to bring our food in front of the tv. How I miss family dinners. You're ideas are good, I actually would like to do some of those myself. Yup, that's the way to go, get everyone involved in the preparation of the meal.
1 person likes this
• China
16 Apr 07
chinese?
1 person likes this
@aissha (2036)
• India
16 Apr 07
,u know in india earlier men used to first ,then children and whatever was left was left for women ,things hv changed and family is eating together .i think what we can do is best dish should be ready by almost that time when evry one is real hungry ,put off tv and then as my mum says hunger is the best sauce ,every body will eat food and the topic will be food only and gradually after ferw days people will like it as good time ,but the catch is food should be good. if some one si eating salad or diet food then it has to be in front of tv only.lol
1 person likes this
@aissha (2036)
• India
20 Apr 07
thnx samrat for best response,u should hv added some comment ya,aise hi de diya khai pili phokat mein,hehehe,lol
@Caila611 (992)
• United States
16 Apr 07
When my hubby comes home from work the whole family will either go outside to play a game or play a game inside before dinner. It gets in gear and we can transistion to making dinner together. Our rule is no cell phones at the table and we do not answer phone calls at dinner. My immediate family knows that if it's an emergency to call back twice and we will know we need to pick it up. But we have never had that happen. Dinner time is important to hubby and I. We love to sit and talk to our two oldest kiddos.
1 person likes this
• India
16 Apr 07
In this fast world we cant exepect everyone to sit in the dining room and have dinner or lunch together . It is better to decide a day in sunday we can all the families and in one dining room or outdoors we can have the dinner or lunch . Its enjoyabale and never be forgetfull
1 person likes this
• Philippines
16 Apr 07
Busy schedules makes it hard for family members nowadays to eat together. If it so, i made sure that my whole family with my mom and dad eat together at dinner time. If Im busy, at least once a week, I make sure to treat them in a buffet or eat-all you can restaurant. Being together especially in meals bring family together. This family ties also serves as a mean of communication and a time for family to get along with each and every member. THIS IS WHAT QUALITY TIME MEANS TO ME. :)
@subathra (3519)
• India
16 Apr 07
Its a very rare occasion with our family members to gather in or dinning table.Everyone are so busy nowadays and they dont have time to sit and have food with family members.In my house iam the one who take up breakfast early and then my brothers and finally my dad and my mom she is the last one to eat her food.When i was younger we used to take up our dinner with all family members.I think if we gather all only we can also share food without wastage and at the same time enjoy too.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Apr 07
everyone can encorage his or her family ...by this it can happen ...after all we people in office use to eat together ..every one can atleast ....eat the food with there family ....it looks good as well is better way to eat food ....just look at the thing that one person is eating in a room ...second one in another room and third one on the dining table ...!! it loooks really odd as well as not good ...one must have to think abt others too and spend much time with each other !
1 person likes this
@neerajm (111)
• India
16 Apr 07
i think eating together with our own family is a very delithful movement.but it is not posible due to daily rutine work.it is only posible at night if we decide a perticular time.
1 person likes this
@mrumley (33)
• United States
16 Apr 07
This is so true. When I was a kid we always ate dinner together until we were in highschool and we got very busy. I think one of the problems is that we put our children in too many activities becuase we think that it will help them, but it is also important to have good quality family time. I remember wonderful, fun times at the dinner table! I hope that people would slow down again and savor life instead of rushing through it. There is always the slowcooker to have dinner basically ready when you get home from work!
@ash6666 (819)
• India
16 Apr 07
Yeah you are right.It started right from the break up of the combined family culture.When there was the combined family culture many mebers of the family used to come together in every act of a day life.As the life style changed and we are into modern age,families broke and every person has been thinking about their personal interests rather than a families.So the atmosphere of a home has completly changed and members of a family sit together at occassions only .And at this type of life style will they come together for having food particularly? But I personally think that this type of life style isnt good atall for future.
1 person likes this
@matlgal (1687)
• United States
16 Apr 07
I think that all of those are terrific ideas. It's just such a lost art now with double income families and children in sports and after school activities. Whether your at home cooking or all have to meet at McDonalds I think it still should be a priority to Eat together, Catch up on the day with each other and share ideas and thoughts. It just has to be a priority and the family unit has to stay together and make that the most important part of their day.
1 person likes this
@smartmom (827)
• United States
16 Apr 07
I think an that television is an important issue when it comes to family dinner time. I remember how my family's dinner pattern changed the day we got a television in the kitchen. In my own little family dinner time is therefore tv free time, and I find that as soon as the tv is of the family is in focus again.
1 person likes this
@mtoxales (374)
• Canada
16 Apr 07
In our families, it is like tradition to have all the family members eat meals together. Since one or both parents may be working during weekdays, we do this during dinnertime. We also do it during lunchtime during weekends. How we do it? We just do it. For children to follow, it has to be done while they are young. Even if they are still learning how to eat, they should be seated in the dinner table as well so they will know. I think eating together gives way for the whole family to talk among each other and appreciate each other.
@kathy77 (7487)
• Australia
16 Apr 07
I do believe that we are moving away from each other as families in my country. While in some other countries they are very close and it is like this with my country but I do know that where my husband comes from which is in the South Pacific that his family is extremely close and it is lovely to be part of his family. I think that you have the right idea but it all depends if your family are home at the time so that everyone can eat together, as with work committments sometimes you will find that it is difficult to do it that way so I would have a talk to them and see what they think about it.
@magica (3709)
• Bulgaria
30 Aug 08
We cant especially encourage. It comes naturally from the heart and the atmosphere between the family members. If they enjoy their communication together, they will do all the best they can to spend some more time. But if they must join the family dinner just because this is the tradition, i think, that this is not right and must not be encouraged.Sorry.
@ruby222 (4848)
7 Aug 08
I have to be honest,if the family come over and we have a relaxed meal together it is great,the children have to sit to the table,and the adults stay at the table and chatter afterwards,its good for everyone,its a time for bonding,a time for catching up on the news that we have to share,and those times are special,and I make the most of them.
• Philippines
21 Mar 08
I think the best way to encourage your family to eat together is to cook good food on every meal. There's nothing like drawing people together via a great meal. So preparing different sumptuous meals would really help.
@laltu86 (1253)
• India
17 Apr 07
with addvancement of time , we addvanced in our expenditure list. We have to earn more to suffice our daily needs, so we all have to work . And for childrens they have to do overtime tutions and schools, where is the time? Its great to have a holiday when we can have a grouped dining . Great post.
• Israel
17 Apr 07
I like what you've written. These are good sujestions. In my family we have one meal that we always eat toghether - Friday's dinner. Since we all have our duties and buisnesses, we find it hard to meet at the same time in the middle of the week. Setting certain times for meals at home might be nice, but it is quite unrealistic, since I study from 8:00 till 20:00... and I come home starving. Sometimes I want to go to the gym when I'm back from the university... Luckily, god gave us saturnday...