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Open thread: What is your top tip for getting the family involved in mealtimes?

We’re turning the comments over to you – tell us your ways.

WE’VE SPOKEN ABOUT how important it is for people to sit down and eat as a family.

Benefits of breaking bread together include these…

  • home-cooking is cheaper and is generally more healthy because you know exactly what’s going into the dishes on your table
  • Chatting around the table boosts children’s vocabulary and improves bonding and empathy
  • Most meals can be on the table in 20 mins or so – less time than waiting for a take-away delivery

We’ve even spoken to psychologist David Coleman who gave us some top tips on getting the whole family eating together.

But the best experts and tipsters are all you family-oriented folks out there.

So we want you to tell us your top tips on getting the family involved in mealtimes. Share your wisdom in the comments.

For further inspiration, read on…

Even these little guys know the benefits Ari Helminen Ari Helminen

Cooking together

One of the ways that can make dinner time more fun and people more engaged in the meal is by cooking together. Obviously it isn’t always practical when you’re rushing to get dinner on the table after a long, hard day, but for more relaxed days including the kids in the making of the meal can be a great way to ramp up the joy of the experience.

Here are some easy-to-make recipes that the kids can get involved in, that make delicious meals with a minimum of fuss.

Pinto Bean and Cheese Tacos

Real Simple Real Simple

This is a really easy way to get a snack on the table and having bowls of lettuce, salsa, cheese and beans on the table and letting the kids assemble their own makes it even easier. Recipe is here.

Tomato and basil soup

Soup is soup-er (yup, no shame) easy to make and this recipe is perfect with a cheese sandwich – toasted or not. Great to make in advance and have ready to heat up after school. Here’s the recipe.

Is that helpful? Is it something you already do? Let us know in the comments your best ways of getting the whole family involved in mealtimes.

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