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Parents Guide To Overcoming Challenges to Family Dinner

Maryam Malekian • MS, Registered Dietitian • Sep 05, 2011

We know there are numerous benefits to family meal time but it can be a whole other story getting every one on the same meal time schedule. 

Children are busy with activities, sports, homework and other obligations.  Even you have commitments that often make meal time hard to plan.

So how do you can you get everyone together at the dinner table for a family meal.

First, family meal time needs to be a priority.  Everyone needs to see that family meals are precious time for the family and missing it should be the exception not the rule.

Here are a few strategies and guidelines to help your family prioritize family meals.


Overcoming Challenges to Family Dinner

Scheduling Challenge- For most of us, getting everyone in the house at the same time to eat together can be very challenging
Here are some strategies to help you overcome the scheduling conflict.
family meal time finding time for dinner
  • Try to say NO to late afternoon meetings. Children often get ignored when parents are extremely involved with community/school committees or organizations. Just remember, if you don’t attend some meetings, your community will not disintegrate.
  • Try not to over schedule your children. If your kid’s schedules are so busy that you’re always in a rush and have to eat dinner in the car on the way to the next activity, it’s time to reconsider
  • Try to avoid all or nothing rule. Although, you might not be able to have a family dinner every night, it’s important to plan several nights each week that you can eat as a family together.
  • Pick one meal a day that works for the whole family.
  • If your schedules don’t allow you to eat as a family every day, then pick one day a week to start. That’s ok.
  • Gradually add another day until you are having one meal a day as a family.
  • Set a time for family meals. This makes it easier for everyone to plan their schedules.
Once family meals are a routine, it will become an enjoyable priority.  After all, kids grow up so fast so enjoy your time together.








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Written by Maryam MalekianWritten on Sep 05, 2011Last updated on Sep 30, 2013




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