Your Questions About Sharing Meal Times

Chris asks…

Meal times?

I have always brought my kids up to sit at the dinner table for their evening meal. Its a time when myself, my husband and the kids can grab some time together …catch up on each others day. Not sit in front of the TV .. grunting at each other..or not even talking at all…I love this time we share as a family.
Agree… or diagree?
WEN1988… I agree we should talk at all times… But I know alot of people who sit in front of the TV at any time of day and do not talk to each other.
If we are watching Tv as a family we have discussions there also.

richmama answers:

I couldn’t agree more!

When I was growing up in the 1960s, most families ate dinner together. Like a scene out of “The Wonder Years,” I can still recall the moms in our close-knit neighborhood, yelling out back doors for their children to come to the table…of course, we kids would agree to meet after dinner for an evening game of tag or to play records, lol.

Dinner was always a special occasion, because my parents made it so. Whether the entree was a simple meatloaf and mashed potatoes, or a full-blown Sunday dinner with all the trimmings, there was always a lot of discussion, laughter, and even debate. My dad might discuss his work…my mom would mention hearing from a distant relative…my older brother would talk about his new-to-him jalopy…my older sister would complain about her latest boyfriend…and I, as the “baby” of the family then in the third grade, would ask questions about fractions and long division, lol.

It was a time to speak out, to listen intently, and to mature. It was a time to learn how to share…not only food…but time and experience.

When my daughter was born, my husband and I carried on the tradition of a family dinner hour. Sometimes, it was difficult for us as a family, as we both had to work full time…and sometimes we didn’t eat until 8 p.m…but SO worth it! Everyone was encouraged to, literally, “bring something to the table”…a current event, a concern, a problem, a reason to celebrate…anything and everything.

Some evenings, we would make it extra fun by doing the unexpected…frying chicken and having an indoor picnic on a blanket on the dining room floor…having a build-your-own taco night and putting dessert (candies) in a homemade pinata, etc.

Most celebrations and family gatherings do involve sharing a meal, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, weddings, and reunions. Family dinners are the perfect opportunity to celebrate the most ordinary of days, each and every day!

Thanks for asking this question and for bringing back a ton of wonderful memories! 🙂

William asks…

What meal-time grace/song do you sing with your preschool students?

I’m looking for a short and sweet meal-time grace for preschool students. For those of you that do say/sing a grace or song prior to meal time maybe you can share it? Thanks!!!

richmama answers:

God is great,
God is good,
and we thank him
for our food.

There is a song called “Johnny Appleseed” that the kids like to sing. Its a popular song in terms of prayer type songs.

Oh, the Lord is good to me
and so I thank the Lord
for giving me
the things I need
the sun and the rain and the appleseed
the Lord is good to me.

Michael asks…

Ideas please for Toddler meal times?

Any tried and tested favourite meals that people would like to share. My son is 13 months and we’re just starting to experiment with flavours and textures a little more.

His fav so far is Rice and Beef…

Cook the rice for 7 minutes – add cubed red peppers and frozen peas – continue to cook for 5 minutes until water is absorbed. Meanwhile fry onions, garlic & cubed carrots in oil for a few minutes. Add minced beef and fry until browned. Puree this to make the beef easier to eat. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix the rice and beef and… Voila! Yummy and healthy!

richmama answers:

My daughter daphne paige is 2 when she was your babys age we gave her finger foods, like chicken tenders cut up fine, fruit cocktail, roasted potatoes at dinner time, she was a good eater, but she hates peas just like me lol, but finer foods are good.just cut up fine.

Sharon asks…

How do I get my 9 month old to feed herself?

My daughter eats all solid foods, no jarred baby food at all. She eats with us at all 3 meal times and shares whatever we are having, but WILL NOT feed herself. She opens her mouth, clearly wanting some but wants us to give it to her. If I put it on her high chair and let her try herself, she just plays with it, doesn’t bring it anywhere near her mouth.
How can I encourage her to start feeding herself?

richmama answers:

Put some food on the spoon/fork and leave it in front of her. Sooner or later she’ll figure out she needs to put the food in her mouth herself. Good luck:)

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