At this time of year, everyone is in a rush. Often September means the return of routines, but also the beginning of extra curricular activities, evening meetings and other dinner-disrupting obligations that can make gathering for a calm and upbeat family meal a real challenge. As our Executive Director Lynn Barendsen commented in a recent NPR interview, some parents find that “they finally get everyone to the table, and they’re already looking at their watches thinking about clean-up.”
In other words, fun isn’t necessarily on the family dinner agenda when our schedules are jam-packed, but it’s the one ingredient that’s guaranteed to make your shared meals a success. When mealtimes are enjoyable and relaxing for the whole family, it’s easier to connect in a meaningful way and to help family members build healthy lifelong habits. A stressful atmosphere turns everyone off to the table, so go ahead and have a little fun!