9 reasons to make time for family dinner

This post is sponsored by MasterFoods

Family dinner time is that moment in the day that I continually cherish.  We have always been a ‘sit at the dining table together to eat dinner’ type family, as I love the interaction and opportunity for conversation.  Ever since the kids were little, from the moment the babies could sit up they joined us in their highchairs playing with a toy (as I would have fed them earlier). Then when the kids were a little older, we always eat dinner together.

Some weekdays are hectic with Dad out working with clients, then the kids getting ready for school, to sports training and homework after school, it’s rare for us to be together as a family prior to dinner time. Having dinner together as a family is very much needed for our family dynamic.

We have always been a 'sit at the dining table together to eat dinner' type family, as I love the interaction and opportunity for conversation,  It provides each of us with a sense of togetherness, love and security, which I hope will positively impact my children as they grow.?

Meal on table: Zucchini and Sweet Potato Slice.

Recently while we were eating dinner Prime Minister Malcolm Turnball was on the news, I can’t quite remember what he was talking about, but Miss 11 didn’t understand and asked me to clarify. I looked at her with a blank face as I didn’t really understand either and Mr 13 quickly answered her question before Dad could step in for me. Mr 13 has full and complete understanding of what is happening in the Australian government, he’s a sponge and just absorbed as much information as he can. It’s moments like these that allows the kids to ask questions, about life, news, school etc, no question is too silly.  They have our full attention to be able to answer their questions, sometimes we find ourselves sitting at the table long after we’ve finished dinner chatting about our day, highs and lows, it’s a really good routine to have in place to bring the family closer together.

Reasons why we make time for family dinner

Our family dinners provide each of us with a sense of togetherness, love and security, which I hope will positively impact my children as they grow.

Benefits for the kids

  • communication – it’s a great opportunity to share details about the day, with parents asking questions to prompt communication. ie, what did you learn in maths today? Do you remember what was the story about at kindy? With parents taking an interest in how their day was gives the child a sense of security and an opportunity to communicate the perhaps not so good, either struggles with understanding a maths problem to troubles in the playground.
  • ask questions – we do have the TV on in the background, which is always the News. Once the kids got older this was and still is a great opportunity for them to learn what is happening in our world, from wars, to government debate and tragedies.  This is a chance for them to ask questions and learn about the realities of life.
  • learn manners – with the children watching mum and dad at the table, they will learn appropriate table manners and eating etiquette. Then always once finished, to express their thanks to the person that cooked dinner.
  • improve social skills – get kids to ask you about your day, show an interest, this will help improve their social skills.
  • trying new foods – eating together is a great opportunity to encourage your child to try new foods. When my kids were really little they loved trying food off my plate, then slowly that new food would appear on their plate.  This helped them to expand their taste.

Benefits for mum and dad

  • calming – after a long day at work, the simple pleasure of sitting at the table with family can help to reduce stress that may have been brought home from work.
  • nutritious and healthy meals – planning our dinners allows me to make healthy meal choices, not resorting to takeaway, which also saves money.
  • teaching life lessons – My kids love to help me in the kitchen, this is teaching them necessities in life, from nutrition and food preparation to cooking. This basic knowledge will prepare them for when they move out of home, it’s basic life lessons like these that teach them about responsibility and help to create independence.
  • listening to the kids – I can learn so much about my child when listening to them, by engaging in conversation it’s providing them with a chance to express their own opinions which is allowing the children to have their own personal identity and an active voice in the family.

MasterFoods recently asked some kids ‘who they’d like to have dinner with, out of everyone in the world’?  Their answers made their parents cry.  Little do we know how much the children cherish family time.

Make the pledge #MakeDinnertimeMatter

I want to ask you this….. Do you eat dinner with your family every night?

Yes – share with me in the comments below, why eating together as a family is so important for you?

No – make the pledge in the comments below that you will try and make dinnertime a family gathering every night and why it would be important for you to do so.

This post was coordinated by The Remarkables Group and run in accordance with my disclosure policy.

We have always been a 'sit at the dining table together to eat dinner' type family, as I love the interaction and opportunity for conversation,  It provides each of us with a sense of togetherness, love and security, which I hope will positively impact my children as they grow.?

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Ms_MotorbikeNut March 8, 2016 - 8:12 AM

My husband & me have access to his daughter (A, who is now 16 yrs old) 50% of the time and when we have her we always make sure we have dinner around the dinner table.

We do it for the same reason your family does the only thing we do different is we pause the live news so the tv while it is on the news is not running so every one gets full attention around the table.

It gives us all a chance to connect and find out how school was for our daughter and what she did, how work was for hubby and how my day was with studies at home and other things I do around the house.

This also gives us a chance to chat about what we might do on a Saturday as a family and ideas get thrown around from Sunday night till Wednesday night(sometimes a Thursday night) where we narrow it down to two and look at our budget to see how much we have for some things.

We choose something to do if its sunny maybe like go for a drive (if we have the money for the gas for the car, we have a gas tank) and maybe a picnic as well and we also choose something to do if it rains so that way we are doing something no matter if its sunny or rainy.

BTW Just want to say love your tweets on twitter but as I keep my account locked it makes it hard for me to tweet to you as with locked accounts you can’t see my tweet unless you follow me. I keep my account locked so my ex never finds me.

Cheers for now

Ms MotorbikeNut
(((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 10, 2016 - 6:18 AM

Yes, it is a great time to work out weekends, we usually do this on a Friday night, access how much study the kids need to do over the weekend and what we can get up to. I am sure your Miss 16 appreciates her time with you and the attention you are both giving her.

I completely understand about twitter and your privacy, it’s very important. I rarely visit twitter, so when you comment on the blog you’ll always get a response 🙂

Julia K March 8, 2016 - 9:23 AM

Nine times out of ten we eat as a family in the dining room. The TV is in the living room and is switched off during dinner. My DH has just gone interstate again for work so now we are back to just the three younger children and me so we sit two a side at the table. My children love it on Thursday nights when their older brother and his fiancee come for dinner.

I think it’s really important to have that one time together and also really important to have a family dinner night after they’ve left home so we can all still interact as a family. I hope this tradition continues for many years to come.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 10, 2016 - 6:15 AM

Yes, I truly hope that my kids return home often when they leave home, such a sweet idea.

Sarah March 8, 2016 - 8:45 PM

We eat dinner as a family at the table 6 nights of the week. Like you, it is something I look forward to as we always have “favourite part of the day” which not only allows everyone the chance to talk but allows us as parents to know what is going on in the lives of our children.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 10, 2016 - 6:10 AM

that’s right, its a great chance for the kids to share what’s on their mind.

Carolyn March 9, 2016 - 8:43 PM

Hi Kat, we always have dinner together. Sometime we even turn the TV off as the news can be a bit confronting some days. But mostly its TV in the background learning how to communicate with each other!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 10, 2016 - 6:06 AM

news is horrendous somedays Carolyn I agree

annettejhiggins March 11, 2016 - 10:42 AM

I have great difficulty with getting my daughter to eat dinner let alone eat as a family. She is very fussy with her food.

Miriam March 11, 2016 - 11:38 AM

We always eat together at the dinner table for the reasons you said. Plus it’s too messy having kids eat elsewhere in the house! I can’t stand having to clean up bits of food from the living room (or anywhere else for that matter) so at least the dining room table and floors are easily cleaned.
We do “favourite part of the day” and take it in turns to tell our most favourite part of each day. We started doing it when my older girls were in school, just trying to find out a little about their school day. We homeschool now and have for a while, and even though I’m with them the whole day, it’s still often surprising which part of the day is their favourite. We have a policy of no TV during dinner.
I have to say that even though it has all those undeniable benefits, I’m still human, and some days I really DON’T look forward to sitting and chatting around the table. We still do it anyway and I usually really enjoy myself, but that time of day I’m so tired and having been with the kids for a full 12 hours I’m starting to flake. So after dinner I’m off parenting duty 😉

Leah March 11, 2016 - 12:47 PM

Gosh I laughed out loud at your #1 benefit of family dinner’s being calming!
My husband and I find it one of the most stressful activities.
I kept reading articles like yours how beneficial it was for families to eat together, so I kept forcing it to happen..
Our 7 yr old is very hard to get to eat anything, so dinnertime would become a constant battle getting him to eat food and the kids to stop arguing.
Now I have little kid size tables in front of the TV & they eat their dinner fine. The TV distracts them & they eat without complaint (mostly) & my husband & I can have an actual conversation & eat our dinner uninterrupted!
Our special family time is when the kids bath. They are relaxed and more conversational then.
I’m sure what works now will change to something else as the kids grow up.
So don’t stress out people, you don’t have to eat as a family – your family won’t be doomed! Do what works for you 🙂

Miriam March 11, 2016 - 1:03 PM

Leah, I’m glad you wrote that. My husband finds dinner times stressful. He really dislikes the crazy noisy time, and with four kids it really gets VERY noisy! Haha! His personal time of bonding with the children happens after dinner when he takes over from me.
It’s great that you know your family and kids so well, and you have confidence in your parenting to be able to work out when something isn’t working for your family. The important part is making sure you’re connecting with your children, growing and building your relationships together. It doesn’t matter if that happens at bath time, play time, walking in the park, or sitting at the dinner table. You’re doing a fab job!
Also, I find dinner time the least relaxing time of the day. I laugh with the kids and we have brilliant conversations. But it’s not at all relaxing! Haha! There’s too much of the whole “Charlotte, stop poking Edward in the ear with your spoon” and “Gwen, if you’re going to kick Adelaide under the table you need to improve your aim because you kicked me instead” hahaha! Never a dull moment!!!

Emily March 13, 2016 - 1:34 PM

No we don’t eat dinner together as a family but without a family this is not possible.
Should I try to change this by perhaps challanging Gods will to leave us without a family?
I originally followed this page for useful home organisations tips, cleaning and decluttering, but there is a much bigger focus now on parenting tips excluding childless people. This has become another mommy blog, rather than organisational & cleaning tips.

Denise March 28, 2016 - 1:42 AM

I find all the blogs I’ve read change over time as the authors’ lives change and move forward to new priorities and interests.

I sometimes struggle with my own internal reaction to pieces when I don’t have the big family with lots of noisy kiddos that I thought I would. Sometimes this means I avoid certain blogs for a while. Some blogs I only have on my feedly reader so I can pick and choose which posts to open. This might work well for you to be able to see the organizing tips you’re interested in without needing to read other posts that might be bittersweet or hard to read.

Love to you,

Tammy March 22, 2016 - 4:46 PM

We always have a favourite part of the day, what made you laugh, did anything make you sad. Conversations around dinner are so important, they help prep for the next day.

Lucy @ Bake Play Smile April 7, 2016 - 1:52 PM

I love this post! My little boy is only 6 weeks old but I can’t wait for family dinner time when he’s older! My nephews do a really cute thing where they all share their favourite part of the day over dinner – it’s so sweet!

Maria Athanas April 4, 2017 - 10:53 AM

Expect for sport activity nights we all eat together. My children and husband enjoy this time. We also have breakfast on the weekends together if hubby is not working. This is a great catch up time for us and more relaxed than dinner as there is no rush. There is always chatter and laughter around the table. It is something I grew up with and have fond memories


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