Dinner Time is Golden Time for your Family

I am about to give you some great tips on how to manage your family dinner time.

First of all, family dinner time should be a priority in your home.  I used to have a home based business where I would teach about the power of traditions.  At the beginning of the workshop I would ask everyone to tell me what their most cherished childhood memory was.

Go ahead…stop and think about your most cherished childhood memory.

What do you think the majority of participants said?
The majority of participants said their most cherished and favorite childhood memories were sitting around the table eating a meal.  Sometimes it was a special holiday meal, but most were just memories of spending time with their family.
In our home we plan on having dinner together at least 5 nights a week, if not more.  Schedules usually average out to about 5 nights eating dinner together.  Before I begin to get on my ‘soap box’ box about how important this is…I want to give you some tips on how our family manages dinner time.  It has taken us a while to figure this system out.  However, it has worked longer than anything else we have done.

This is what we do:

Each person in our family of 5 has a night they plan & prepare a meal.

Monday – My husband
Tuesday – My oldest daughter (15 yrs.)
Wednesday – My Son (12 yrs.)
Thursday – My youngest daughter (7 yrs.)
Friday – Me or out to dinner

Sunday night everyone is responsible for writing down or entering the information on our cool computer application (I’ll have to write about it in the future) the ingredients needed for their meal.  The kids usually ask can I make such & such and we discuss whether it is appropriate or not.  For example, if we know 2 out of 5 don’t like fettucini alfredo then we say, “Why don’t you think of something the majority of us will eat.”

Monday I go to the store and shop for the week.  If someone has not given me their meal ingredients then they have to figure out something to make from what we have at home.  That is not always an easy task and usually motivates them to remember to let me know their ingredients before Monday.

When it’s the family member’s day to cook, they are responsible for cooking the entire meal.  Sometimes I will help do something, but most of the time my two oldest children will do it all by themselves. {score!}  They LOVE to cook and look at this activity as a privilege.  Plus, they pick something they like to eat and know they will like what they will have for dinner that night.  Either my husband or I usually help, teach and supervise my youngest daughter on Thursdays.

So some of you who have younger children might be thinking, “Well, my kids are not old enough to cook.”

If they are not old enough to cook, but old enough to talk let them help you with the menu plan for the week.  Adapt it to where the child has a night to plan the meal.  At least this helps take off the load of you having to decide what you will make every night.

I think when kids are about 5 (maybe younger depending on the child) they can start helping you in the kitchen with certain tasks.  It may not necessarily be cooking on the stove or oven, but helping with pouring or mixing or even having them go to the pantry & getting all the ingredients.  I firmly believe our job as parents is to prepare & teach our children to be self sufficient.  This way when they leave our home, they know how to {in this case} cook.  Doing things this way also teaches them responsibility, time management and organizational skills.

How do you manage your meal time?

Are you sitting down at the table
(not in front of the TV or separately)
to eat a meal together on a regular basis?

Let me hear from you.  If you try something similar to this plan please come back and let me know how it goes.  I want to know :)

The dinner hour is GOLDEN time with your family.

You can learn so much from your children at meal time.

Bon Apetite,


  1. Shannon, I am so pleased to know that you are continuing this tradition. Having dinner together 5 times a week is excellent especially with children the ages they are with all their activities. Very nice post here! Love you, Mom

  2. Mom, I have fond memories of dinner time together growing up. :)


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