What’s Family Dinner Time Like in Your Home?
Besides crazy, of course. If your home and family is anything like mine, it’s crazy. Mama and dad bumping into one another while getting the meal ready, fidgety kids wiggling about in their seats (if they’re in their seats at all), spaghetti sauce splatters, loud requests to pass the potatoes. But besides that, do you get a chance to really connect during family dinner time? We’ve all heard the “experts” tout family dinner as being a crucial component to raising well-adjusted kids. And even though it’s hard… and crazy… I’ve seen that first hand and believe in it. So when I was invited by Ragú® to share what makes our family dinner time not just awesome, but “saucesome”, I decided to pass the question along to my mama blogging friends, too.
What is Saucesome?
Saucesome is mealtime magic.
Moments that make you smile in Ragú’s 100% positive, frills-free, no-judgment zone. Like the magic you feel when good food, family and friends come together. Or the lasagna YOU made (high five)…the taste of which sends everyone running to the table. Or the inevitable (and uncontrollable) laughter you hear as the kids gobble down chicken parm n’ share secrets at the table.
You know the feeling. Saucesome.
Let’s celebrate it.
In 2015, Ragú® is putting the magic back in mealtime.
And that’s Saucesome..
How Do You Make Family Dinner Time Meaningful – & Saucesome, Mamas?
1. Work Together on Dinner Prep & Cooking
“We start our family dinners by all gathering in the kitchen to cook and prepare the meal. Even my 2 year old helps wash the produce. We chat and get connected while getting dinner ready. The kids then set the table while I finish the last of the preparations. Family dinner time is important for us because it is the time when we are teaching life skills, responsibility, working as a team, and staying connected with everyone.” Amanda of The Educators’ Spin On It
2. Make It Routine by Sticking with the Same Time
“My family always ate together growing up so it’s really important to me that we do the same. We eat at the same time everyday and just ask each other to tell us about their day.” Amy of Umbrella Tree Cafe
3. Limit Distractions (Turn off your Phone!)
“Breakfast and lunch can be hectic as I run a home-based preschool program, but supper is our time to slow down and connect as a family. For me it doesn’t matter where we eat or what we eat, but I make sure to turn my phone to silent and take things at a relaxed pace. I refuse to schedule things that interfere with our family meals, or would cause us to rush through them!” Jennifer of Study at Home Mama
4. Share the Best of Your Day
“When we all sit down to dinner we go round the table to ask each other what the best thing was about our day.” Nicola of Crafty Kids at Home
5. Share the Rose & the Thorn of Your Day
“We had family friends visit recently and they shared their dinnertime conversation starter. She said they go around the table and everybody shares the rose and the thorn of their day (the good thing and the bad thing that happened that day). We did it while they were here and depending on our situation we have done it some days since then too, it is really nice to be able to show appreciation for the good things and talk out the bad.” Laura of LalyMom
6. Read a Book Together
“During lunch, I read aloud to the kids. They LOVE it. It keeps everyone entertained and eating well. Even our three year old enjoys the chapter books we read.” Renae of Every Star is Different
7. Connect Spiritually
“At dinner time we do our family scripture study. It’s just a short story from children’s scriptures, but it goes well. Then we just enjoy time together as a family chatting about our day.” Renae of Every Star is Different
8. Use Conversation Starter Cards
“We use dinner conversation starter cards to bring up ethical dilemmas our kids might face. This is a proven technique for teaching kids to be kind, and we’ve certainly seen the evidence of that firsthand!” Kelly of The (Reformed) Idealist Mom
Print out Kelly’s Free Printable Conversation Starter Cards HERE!
9. Have a Family Dinner Book Club
“Once a month, we hold a Family Dinner Book Club where we enjoy a book together, make a themed dinner, decorate the table and talk about the book.” Jodie of Growing Book by Book
10. Make Future Plans Together
“Eating dinner as a family is a must at my house. We may eat breakfast or lunch apart, but gathering to share a meal and talk about our days how we keep up with each other. We also use it as planning time for what we will do after dinner as a family.” Deirdre of JDaniel4’s Mom
How We Make OUR Family Dinner Time Meaningful & Saucesome
In our home, we go around the table telling our favorite and least favorite parts of our day. I actually LOVE hearing what my kids have to say. I’m often surprised by the little things they choose to be their favorite parts of their day. And hearing about their least favorite parts of their days often allows us to talk through how they can deal with issues that they might be having at school or with each other. And there are even times when hearing their least favorite part (“when you yelled at me, Mommy…) allows me to apologize for my own difficult parenting moments, too!
More About Making Dinner Saucesome with Ragú®
A special thanks to Ragú® for getting us thinking about how we can make family dinner time more “saucesome”. I know many times Ragú® Sauces have come to my rescue in making the dinner part easier and tastier so I can focus on connecting with my kids!
Keep in mind when planning your family dinners that Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce has a delicious taste your whole family will love. You can find yummy recipe ideas by following Ragú® on Facebook and Pinterest. And follow along with the #Saucesome fun by following @RaguSauce Twitter.
Plus, make sure enter and vote in the Ragú #Saucesome Sweepstakes for a chance to win up to $12,000! (That’s Saucesome! *wink*)
More Great Parenting Tips from B-Inspired Mama:
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Ragú is celebrating everything that makes family mealtime #Saucesome. From unique recipes to silly moments to crazy weeknights…we want to hear it all.
Do you have a recent #Saucesome moment or recipe? Share below!