If you have a family, you know how incredibly tough it can be to gather the family around the dinner table. When I was growing up it was the unusual when we did not eat together as a family. My mother was very strict abut meals in our house and with 6 kids, it is no wonder! We were to be at the table, hands washed and quiet, promptly at 6:00 and if you were not on time, you did not eat. Mom cooked virtually everything from scratch, so if you did not like what she made, you could go hungry. There was no shouting menu demands from the living room or pushing away your plate because you decide today is the day you do not like sauce on your pasta. No wonder that for several years after starting my own family I would get a tummy ache when it came close to dinner time. I think I half expected my mother to pop her head into the dining room while she did her head count! For me, I want meal time to be relaxed and enjoyable and a time to connect as a family. There are times when it is like pulling teeth to get the kids to the table, so I wanted to find some clever suggestions on how to make meals fun. Here are a few ideas I really liked:
- Involve The Family: If you have kids who repeatedly tell you they do not like what you are serving, get them to help plan the menu. This is not an open invitation to have the kids request ice cream and cupcakes but they will gain a sense of ownership. If the kids both want pasta but one wants meat sauce and one a white sauce, I can handle that!
- Switch It Up: Make things interesting to get the kids excited about coming to the table. Why not have breakfast for dinner or make a small buffet. When you serve the same things over and over is when people dread coming to the table.
- Make A Game Of It: Once in a while, do something small but fun to get the kids running to the table. Tape a prize or a treat to the bottom of their plate. Tell them if they clean their plate, they can turn over the plate and receive the prize attached. My kids LOVE this and you can make it as simple as an extra 15 minutes of TV or skipping one chore the next day.
- Add Some Color: Two things the experts have found is if you serve food that lacks color and lump them together, the kids are not going to be thrilled with it. Try serving mashed potatoes, cauliflower and creamed chicken. Pretty bland tasting and looking. Serve your meals with some color like fresh fruits and vegetables and sauces for dipping. Kids love to dip! Also, serve dinner on colorful dinnerware and use colored glasses for drinking. One company I am particularly fond of for their brightly colored dinner, glass and serving pieces is Q Squared NYC.
How To Make Meals Fun
I absolutely love to set a beautifully coordinated table when I am entertaining. Why do I not think to do this when it is just me and the family having a meal together? If I am looking for ways how to make meals fun, this would be a good start! When I set a nice table for a meal, it just makes the meal more enjoyable for everyone. I honestly had a tough time choosing which pieces I wanted to receive from Q Squared NYC and had to defer to Eva Valerio, my contact, for help. Eva chose the bright and colorful Montecito Collection. The vibrant reds, yellows, blues and white just make the table pop with festivity. The moment the package arrived, the kids were already washing the new dishes so they could have a snack on them. Caitlin was hilarious drinking from the wine glass. We also received the 11″ plate, 5.5″ plate, 16″ platter, 10″ bowl, wine glass, highball and DOF glass.
Let me tell you a huge reason you will fall in love with the products from Q Squared NYC. Every piece is made of the finest quality melamine and the colors are beyond description. The glasses are surprisingly sturdy and in my house, that is a huge plus! I love that you can mix and match so many pieces, colors and shapes within the collection. There are almost 40 pieces just within this one collection that would work perfectly with one another. You can choose a more refined solid white of the Diamond White or the gorgeous Q Luxe Ruffle. Q Squared NYC literally has something for every taste and every budget and these are pieces you know you will keep for years to come. I am actually going to purchase some pieces for my oldest daughter as a Christmas gift because I want her to share in the joy we have had using these pieces! You can purchase the Q Squared NYC products from their website and the prices range from $5 – $45 for dinner, glass and serving pieces. You can also purchase sets for kids, and several other products.
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