Let’s be honest…
Dinner can be a bit of a chaotic event at the best of times. You could spend ages trying to corral your family to the table in the first place.
And when you do, nobody seems to be all that engaged with the rest of the family. The kids have their faces pointed directly at their phones. Your partner might be dealing with work issues at the table.
This isn’t what you had in mind when you tried to get the family together to share a little food.
Dinner should be a time to share food and thoughts with your nearest and dearest. And if you put this rule in place, that’s exactly what it will be.
Rule #1 – No Phones at the Dinner Table
This is a simple one that’s super effective.
Make it clear that nobody is allowed to bring their phone to the dinner table. And to make sure the rule gets enforced, collect the phones before dinner. That means that nobody has the temptation to check their phone while they’re eating.
Phones are little more than a distraction, especially today when you’re getting tons of notifications from all sorts of apps.
Have everybody pop their phone into a little basket before dinner. They can retrieve the phone after the meal’s done. Plus, it’s nice for the phone addicts out there to actually engage with the real work every once in a while.
Rule #2 – No Work Talk at the Table
A lot of jobs can feel like they take over our lives. You wake up thinking about work. You come home and work is still on your mind. It feels like there’s nothing that you can do to escape it.
Make the dinner table your sanctuary.
When people are at the table, you should ban all talk of work. Take it out of your mind so that you can focus on the other things that are important to you and your family.
Yes, you may end up talking about work again after the meal’s done. But for that time at the table, you get to escape the stresses of modern life and enjoy time with your family.
Rule #3 – Have Everybody Take Part
How frustrating is it to cook the meal, set the table, and then have to try and get everybody to sit down?
It feels like you’re doing everything yourself because you are.
That’s why it’s a good reason to try and get everybody involved in the dinner process. Where possible, get your kids or your partner involved in the cooking. If they’re unable to participate there, have them set the table.
This participation can continue after the meal too. You may give somebody the responsibility of clearing the table when you’re done, with somebody else taking on the task of washing up.
When everybody has a task to complete, dinner becomes more of a family event. Everybody feels like they have a part to play, which means they appreciate the food and the relaxed atmosphere at the table even more.
Rule #4 – Always Wash Up Before You Eat
This is one of the basic rules of eating dinner that so many of us forget.
Always wash your hands and face before sitting down at the table. Now, you may not see this as much of a big deal for regular meals.
But what happens if you’re serving finger foods?
For example, you may have put out a selection of tapas meats for the family to enjoy. And you can bet that at least one member of the family will make a grab at the meats with their hands.
Just think about all of the potential contaminants that got onto the food in that single action.
Hygiene is always of the utmost importance when it comes to food. And you can use this washing rule as a way to teach your kids that it’s important that they maintain their cleanliness both while eating and preparing food.
Rule #5 – Everyone Gets a Chance to Talk
With no distractions (i.e. phones) to pull away their attention, you may just find that everybody at the table suddenly starts trying to dominate the conversation.
To reduce the possibility of dinner descending into a shouting match, make sure you give everybody the chance to talk.
For example, you could go around the table and ask each person how their day was and if they have something important on their minds.
You may just find that dinner time brings you together as a family and helps you to communicate your feelings a little more.
Rule #6 – Everyone Stays at the Table Until the Last Person Finishes
Every family has that one person who seems to be able to rocket through eating their food. You could swear by watching them that they don’t even seem to chew. By the time you’ve gotten through your first few bites, they’ve already cleared their plate.
Do not let them leave the table once they’re finished.
Remember that the goal of all of this is to share in great conversation as well as great food. Make it a rule that nobody leaves the table until the last person finishes eating. That way, you won’t have people randomly leaving whenever they feel like it.
Rule #7 – Try at Least a Little of Everything
Everybody has their own preferences when it comes to food. But at the same time, you want to have the freedom to introduce new dishes to the family.
Make it a rule that everybody has to at least try something new whenever it’s presented.
You can’t guarantee that they’ll like it, and that’s okay. But they’ll never know until they try.
The Final Word
At times, it can feel like the tradition of the family dinner has almost been lost.
But with these rules, you’ll ensure that everybody gets to the table and actually pays attention when they’re there.
Now, you just need to find some quality foods to serve up. That’s where we come in. Check out our range of halal chilled meats and you’re sure to find something to serve up at dinnertime.