Monday, September 30, 2013

The Family Dinner {free printable}

31 Days of Home Economics
Day One: The Family Dinner {+ free printable}
One thing about my childhood that I appreciate so much now is the importance my parents placed on having dinner together as a family every night. We would get home from school around 4 o'clock and do homework. Dad would get home in time for dinner and we all sat down together around our dining room table to enjoy a home cooked meal and fellowship together. It never felt rushed. Mom enjoyed cooking for us and never acted like cooking was a chore to her. Her meals were always planned ahead of time and not just thrown together. It was just one way she showed her love for us. Now that I'm a mom, I realize how intentional my parents were in carving out that time for our family. During family mealtime, we prayed together and recognized that all we have is from the hand of God. We fellowshipped and talked about our days, laughed together, and even played tricks on each other. Like the time we had potato cakes - one plate with onions and one plate without onions for my brother and sister who hated onions. My brother slid one of the onion potato cakes onto the non-onion plates and placed it where he knew my sister would take it. And she did. It was hilarious...until my brother ended up having to eat the very one he tricked her into taking. Family dinners form togetherness and strong bonds of friendship with the people that matter most in your life.
These days, years later, life seems so incredibly busy. It's a struggle to eat together as a family every night because of the type of job my husband has. However, we're trying to be more intentional about this sacred time called family dinner. It's a gift we can give to our girls. Letting them grow up in a home where they know family matters. Even if it means eating a little later in the evening. Being together to enjoy it makes it that much more special.
Here are some ways I like to get everyone involved in The Family Dinner.
Let them help.
I have three daughters and they all want to help me cook. Although that isn't always the best idea or most convenient in our size kitchen, I don't want to discourage them from helping. Let them know there are plenty of things to do in order to have a nice family dinner.
In my Food Preparation classes we were placed into groups and within each group we all had responsibilites when doing our labs. We had several kinds of meals to prepare and each one was different. So, we rotated responsibilities. These same 'jobs' can work very well within the family unit, as well. 

Family Dinner - Responsibilities {Click the link to print}
If you assign your children {when they are able to safely perform these duties} these jobs on a rotation, you're teaching them responsibility, teamwork, and all the basic duties of running a kitchen for the family. This will help them as they get older. Everyone needs to participate in meal time! It shouldn't just be Mom's job. This is a work in progress for me. I usually feel like I can do it all quicker with no complaining if I do it by myself, but my kids are old enough to be doing most of these things on their own now. This is a great way for them to contribute to their family team! I'm printing off this list and handing out jobs starting today!

How do you get your kids to help? Do you do it all or is it a family affair?
This is part of my 31 Days of Home Economics series. You can find the entire series here.

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  1. Great post, Amy! Reminds me of my family when I was growing up.

    We still have a family meal most nights, and my father and nephew join us several times a week.

  2. At my home we always at dinner as a family, and as an kid it annoyed me, but not that I am grown I miss it. Now that we have a little one in the house I try to make sure we eat together at the table sometimes, but I am an epic fail at it. Love the ideas for how the kids can help :) You make it all sound important and fun, rather than like chores!

  3. Lisa, thank you for stopping by! I'm so glad you still have family dinner. It's such a special time!

  4. Rachel, it is fun when everyone has a place to help. I try to make it not feel like a chore. I don't like chores myself, so if I can make it fun for them, it will be more fun for me too! Thank you so much for stopping by!

  5. I love the printable with the different jobs & how they encourage creativity! Keeping this in mind for when we have kiddos!

    1. Yes! It's a great tool to teach teamwork, too!


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