You have to pick up your daughter from school to take her to soccer, your son is at swimming lessons and your partner is working. The school year has begun and so have the added extracurricular activities. How can you make time to make sure everyone, including yourself, has time to eat at all, let alone has a chance to eat with other family members? You're not alone with this scenario. There are ways to not just get everyone ‘fed and watered,' but also share some time together.
The beginning of the school year is a great time for families to revitalize routines that slipped away during the summer, or to create new ones. I'm serious!
The Better Together website has some great advice like: "If getting the family together at the dinner table is much like herding cats, try breakfast. Or, brown bag some snacks to take to the practice and eat together during breaks ...". I know, it might sound overly simple, but in many cases it is this easy. Eating together doesn't have to be a big formal gathering with everyone present.
Sitting on a bench at the park after soccer practice sharing a sandwich is eating together (try our kid approved open faced sandwich as a closed faced sandwich to feel like home away from home). Eating on the run can still be done in a satisfying way even if the schedule feels anything but civilised.
Another tip is to try to find a regular time during the week that everyone plans to share a meal, or better yet, share in preparing a meal. Saturday night pizza night (it can be any night that works for you), where everyone gets to make their own pizza, is a popular adventure. Research has shown that preparing food at a young age is a very important step on the way to being involved in the family meal and ultimately eating together.
If you have been able to get your kids involved in making family meals, what works well for you?