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How to Plan a Successful Family Dinner

Millennial magazine - family dinner

Millennials are getting older. No longer the up-and-comers in society (that honor goes to Gen Z now), many have graduated to settling down and starting families.

That move into domestic comfort comes with a few challenges, however. Namely, how do you gather with your family for a fun, enriching family dinner – rather than the often glacial, buttoned-up family dinners of the past?

Like other challenges this generation has faced throughout the years (from disrupting industries to redefining work), millennials approach family dinner with a trademark mix of innovation and fun. Here are a few distinctly millennial takeaways for how to put together a successful dinner with kids.

Plan Ahead

A family is a unit. But it’s also a collection of unique individuals, each with their own interests, inclinations and schedules. One parent might have trivia night on Wednesday, while the other has a book club on Thursday. One kid might have hockey practice on Monday, and another might beg to sleepover at a friend’s this weekend.

Therefore, fitting family dinners in can be challenging. To ensure you create time at the table to come together, plan in advance. Find an evening that works for everyone, and lock it in the calendar. Better yet, find a few evenings each week where you can come together and create a consistent ritual around family dinner time.

Compromise by Ordering a Variety of Foods

Parents – especially parents of younger kids – know how difficult it can be to reach a food consensus. One wants burgers, while the other wants chicken. Meanwhile, you and your spouse have been craving sushi all day.

An easy solution is to compromise by ordering a variety of foods from several delivery kitchens. Letting kids choose what they eat (as opposed to when they eat) has been shown by experts to curb picky eating habits. If you’re worried about service and delivery fees from several restaurants, order through getREEF food delivery services, which offer fee-less delivery.

Prepare a List of Positive Conversation Starters

Arguments can quickly derail a perfectly good family dinner. While some arguments are inevitable (perhaps even healthy), you can try to curb persistent arguing by structuring dinner talk around positive conversation starters.

These can come in the form of questions, like “what was the highlight of your day?” or “If a genie granted you one wish, what would you wish for?”. Or you can discuss a topic you know your family likes, like where to go next summer holiday or how great the latest Pixar movie was.

Screen Time Can Wait

Lastly, consider making a “no screens at the table” rule. TVs, phones, Switches and tablets have their time and place. But the dinner table is a place for family, a time for connection.

Psychologists insist that putting tech away during mealtimes allows everyone to engage with each other fully – to feel like they have people’s attention when they talk. But they caution that parents also have to follow this rule to model good behavior.

The dinner table remains one of the cornerstones of family connection. For a successful, enriching family dinner, give the four tips above a try.

What do you think?

Written by Britt Hysen

Britt Hysen is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of MiLLENNiAL. In response to the branded ad campaigns absorbed by the media platform, Britt launched Kreativ Ctrl, a full-service marketing agency specializing in experiential programming and strategic partnerships.

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