How to Use Your Dining Space More Often

How many of you have a dining space that you only use for special occasions? Eating meals together regularly is the secret to healthier family relationships so why aren’t you using that space more often? We don’t have to wait for a special occasion. You can make everyday feel like a special occasion without too much effort.

Here are some things to try:

  • “Set” your table. The Art of the Table: A Complete Guide to Table Setting, Table Manners, and Tableware. This doesn’t have to be fancy. You just need a place for each person to sit. Use real plates, silverware, and glasses if possible. You can even involve your children and teach them how to “set” a table. (website resource)
  • A lot of dining tables double as work spaces. If this is your situation keep a basket close to your table to put all the papers, books, etc. in so the table can be cleared for “setting”.
  • Sometimes it helps to serve the food “family style” where all the food is placed on the table before serving it. By putting the food on the table your family has to go to the table to get it. This does take more time and effort. I use more of a buffet style daily now that my family is used to gathering around the table.
  • Plan to gather around the table for at least 20 minutes. Set a meal timer, if necessary. Use this time to connect with your family. I will feature some conversation starters in a later post to help with this.
  • Make gathering around the table fun so your family wants to sit together. Remember, it isn’t just about the food. Leave a note under someone’s napkin such as: “Hope you had a fantastic day!” or give each person a joke or riddle to read out loud at the table.
  • Even on the nights that your family picks up food for dinner have everyone sit a the table to eat. Try to resist the urge to eat standing up or in front of the TV.
  • This sounds funny but turn on the light above your table in your dining space while you are making dinner. This will light up your table and “invite” your family to sit down.

These are just a few ideas. I will be posting about conversation starters and easy place setting ideas in the future. Please sign up for my newsletter to get “17 Conversation Starters for Your Table“.

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