More and more, we’re hearing from families that their dinners together “don’t really count” because the whole group isn’t able to sit down together at the same time. It’s a common misconception that family dinner can only be, well, family dinner if there’s not a single person missing. But with families getting busier, is it really true that we have to let go of family dinner when schedules separate us in the evenings?
Good news: Your mealtimes can still be meaningful and beneficial if big brother’s at basketball practice or a parent is working an evening shift. Of course it’s ideal to have every family member present at the table whenever you can, but the “split shift” family dinner can be a practical and enjoyable solution on busy evenings. Try these tips to make split shift family dinners a rewarding experience in your household!
So if your family dinners this fall can’t always include the whole family, don’t stress! Make it a goal to gather everyone when you can, and when you can’t, consider the split shift dinner as a “good enough” backup option.
We’re honored to be recognized by the NY Times in their wonderful comprehensive guide to family dinners!
Meet the Denoy family! Hailing from Texas, this family of four juggles a very busy schedule with the help of family and some smart strategies for easy mealtimes.
This Chicken Santa Fe Soup from our friends at AAFCS is a perfect solution for split shift dinners.
A progressive food poem that grows as each group of family members adds their words can be a wonderful way to engage even when you’re eating at different times.
Use these printable placemats to set the table for many rounds of enjoyable conversation.
2019 The Family Dinner Project
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