Creating New Family Traditions: Making Mealtimes More Meaningful

Tagliatelle!We all know the importance of eating together as a family. Shared mealtimes give families occasions to reconnect and help inoculate our children from a variety of worldly woes.

The same can be said of regularly engaging in family traditions, those wonderful repeating events that make up “what we do.” Customs help families bond across generations and make our children feel special.

These traditions develop as we engage in the large rituals (e.g. reunions and holiday events) but also the numerous smaller daily rituals that make up family life in the day to day. Mealtimes provide a great setting for creating both large and small rituals.

Unfortunately, mealtimes are also a challenging time for many families. It often takes a lot of effort to simply get the meal prepared and the family members seated at the table. This leaves little time to think about mealtime rituals much less do any of them.

But keep in mind that meals aren’t just about shoveling food into the kids. We parents are responsible for instilling a sense of morality, communicating our values, and cultivating emotional intelligence in our children. If mealtimes offer a rare chance for us all to get together, then it makes sense to establish some rituals and traditions around meals.

Here are some ideas on how to encourage meaningful mealtime traditions.

First things first: Assess your family traditions »

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