5 ways to Make Family Mealtime Meaningful

Mealtime happens every day. Whether we like it or not. The kids (and adults) must be fed. Even on weeknights. It’s just the way it is. Today I’m partnering with GE to help you create an atmosphere that will have everyone (including you) looking forward to family mealtime. Creating a meaningful mealtime is easier than you think… when you know where to start. 5 tips for making mealtime more fun!

5 tips for Making Family Mealtime Meaningful

Let the kids help by picking the meal or helping with prep. Little M loves to make pancakes. Big M loves to make eggs. (Breakfast for dinner happens a lot around here). We call them over for just the parts they love to help with. It’s a fun way for to start using tools and equipment in the kitchen. Learning how to use our GE Appliances oven has made them feel oh so big. (I just got a look at the new GE Appliances gas Double Range Oven … wow!!! It has Tri Ring Burners that make it easier to control the heat. Better pancake cooking for Little M?)

Extend prep time so you feel less rushed to have dinner on the table “on time”. I am far more patient when I am not pressed by the clock. The extra time cushion makes it easier to let the kids help grate the cheese or cut the veggies. It also makes it easier to give attention to the “Mom, come see this.” that always seems to happen as soon as the water is boiling.

Be flexible with what must happen in the kitchen. At our house the meals are dished up at the stove or counter and brought over to the table. I like it that way, so that’s how we do it. Little M, on the other hand, loves setting a table. She loves serving dishes and place settings. On the days she wants to set the table, I enjoy the time we have together (and forget about my way of doing it).

Talk, talk and them talk some more. Dinner table conversations are a great way to get kids to open up. Use this as an opportunity to talk about the day’s events, what’s on everybody’s minds and even some very serious conversations. When it’s regular practice to talk about the small stuff… the big stuff will come out easier!

Clean up as a team and extend the together time. Give everyone a job (even the little ones can help load the dishwasher). The extra hands and giggles take a chore and make it fun. Of course with 102 Spray Jets and no need to prerinse GE Appliances Dishwasher makes cleaning up dinner even quicker. GE Appliances gas Double Range Oven GE Appliances asked and then LISTENED. Their new line of appliances is designed with both beauty and functionality in mind. They took the advice of busy moms and dads (just like us) and designed appliances that make it easy to connect, play and ENJOY each other in the kitchen. Check out the features of the Double Range OvenFrench Door Refrigerator and DishwasherGE Appliances is also offering rebates and promotions (GE Artistry begins 5/15/2014 – 5/28/2014).

How do you make your weeknights special? Leave your answer in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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Comments

  1. Lisa Brown says

    I make them special by fixing something we all really like and look forward to eating when we sit down together as a family.

  2. Julie Wood says

    I make weeknights special by cooking a delicious healthy meal that everyone will like! I plan my menu at the beginning of the week and make extra to have leftovers. We sit down to eat dinner together and talk about our day. Eating dinner together brings me and my family closer together.

  3. carmen says

    I make weeknight dinners special by using recipes that we love. I try to be healthy but believe that nothing is out-of-bounds when used in moderation. This makes eating at home not feel like a chore!

  4. Natalie says

    i make sure the whole family gets involved in preparing the dinner. we make homemade pizza every wednesday and each person gets to pick which healthy toppings they want to put on their portion of the pizza. I try to prepare as much ingredients as possible on the weekends when I have more time.

  5. Susan Smith says

    I own my weeknights by planning my menu at the beginning of the week. I make sure the meals are easy and quick and everyone likes it. I enjoy sitting together as a family eating dinner and talking about our day.

  6. Sara says

    We ask our kids, 6 & 8, to tell us 3 things that happened in their day, 2 of them being true, and one false. Then we have to guess which ones are which. Our boys really like this “game,” & it ‘s a great conversation starter :)

  7. Jessie C. says

    We make our weeknights special by having dinner and game nights together.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  8. D Schmidt says

    We try to make weeknights special by trying a new recipe, spending time together as a family and getting everyone involved in making the meal!

  9. Samantha Daleo says

    My weekdays are special because I involve my family in dinner planning so everyone is excited to sit down at eat and the stress is gone, so Mommy can relax once dinner is served and enjoy her family.

  10. Denise S says

    The kids have nightly “TV time” where they all get to watch TV in bed with snacks after they’ve had dinner and done homework. Then I get to have some peace.

  11. Maureen says

    On weeknights we eat dinner together. We might be running in all sorts of directions during the day but the dinner time is special.

  12. Kiara says

  13. Susan Robbins says

    We don’t eat out on weeknights because they are too busy and my husband and children are always anxious to see what I’ve made to for dinner which I try to have ready when they get home and we eat early which refuels everyone to get their homework done!

  14. vera says

    We have dinner together and go for walks after to make weeknights special. Gives us a chance to talk and spend time together without distractions.

  15. Kimmy Ripley says

    In the summer we make weeknights special by taking my daughter out for ice-cream occasionally.

  16. Sarah Hirsch says

    we make weeknight dinners special by letting everybody have a say in the menu so we will all enjoy the meal

  17. Debbi Wellenstein says

    Everyone is involved in dinner preparation. We sit down as a family and discuss our day.

  18. RICHARD HICKS says

    We make weeknight dinners special by having a surprise dinner item that we have not tried before.

  19. Stephanie V. says

    Getting the kids involved in meal planning, prep, setting table and choosing the topic of the night to discuss
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  20. Anastasia says

    i try to make weeknights special by having the kids help cook (when they’re not busy), making something a little different (when it’s in the budget) and by just having dinner together as a family (when we can! ) :)

  21. says

    My special weeknights are those when I can actually get home in time to have dinner with my family. I cook up a storm on weekends, so we compile some leftovers and chat about our day.

  22. Cynthia C says

    I try to make weeknights special by serving interesting foods and having conversation with the family.

  23. e michelle says

    on clear nights we take it outside and eat under the stars with a bonfire! its a chance to relax and unplug ourselves.

  24. Robby Rob says

    it’s always go, go, go. So once a week, we try to plan at least one dinner where we all sit down together and eat, even if it’s take-out

  25. mickeyfan says

    I love it when the weather allows hubby and I to sit on the front porch and just unwind with an adult beverage. (The kids are grown, so it’s ok!)

  26. janna johnson says

  27. Lauren E. says

    We make our weeknights special by having special blocks of time for one another inbetween dinner & showers. We can all watch a movie or garden.

  28. Ashley says

    I make weeknights special by making sure everybody always eats dinner together during the week and trying to have one different food like a special condiment or side!

  29. lin says

    We try to make weeknights special by sitting down to dinner together and playing “show and tell” about what happened in school

  30. debbie B says

    I enjoy coming home from work to dinner prepared in my crockpot! it makes my evening so much easier

  31. Elle says

    We make weeknights special by eating out on the deck when the weather is nice. We usually turn on a little music and chat about the day. It’s nice.

  32. jenn giannetto says

    i like to make weeknights special by preparing a small treat for after dinner, especially when i get a good report from school. even a small treat can be special like a single scoop of ice cream with sprinkles

  33. Dawn Monroe says

    When our grandkids come over we let them pick what they want for dinner and help out. It’s usually tacos so we make a taco bar.

  34. janetfaye says

    I make weeknights special by making food that my family enjoys and having good family conversations.

    janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

  35. Emily A. says

    My husband makes special ice cream treats with marshmallows and sprinkles and chocolate chips and surprises my son. We also sing songs together at bedtime.

  36. Luna S says

    We try to make the weeknights special by either cooking together, doing a craft, reading a book or just spending a little time together before we go to bed.

  37. says

    We have weekly pizza night. We each make a personal pizza with all our favorite toppings while singing and dancing to music in the back ground. Everyone looks forward to it each week.

  38. Sarah Cool says

    I like to spend as much quality time together, meaning no tv or electronics. I like to spend one on one time with each kid and my hubby so everyone gets my full attention.

  39. Ally says

    We make weeknights special by setting aside some time together for us, sans TV or other interruptions. We also sit down for dinner nearly every night together.

  40. megan n says

    All of my children LOVE to help in the kitchen. My mothers was never a big cook, most of my meals as a kid were from the microwave. So me and my kids learn new things in the kitchen together all the time. They love helping to cut, mix, measure and pour. And I love how much they are learning and having fun in the process.

  41. Samantha Plotkin says

    We make weeknights special with a family walk after work, before dinner. The fresh air and exercise makes even the simplest meal taste amazing!

  42. Melissa L. says

    We make them special by playing games together, or other activities. It is a great time to spend time together, and bond. We just like to have fun together as a family.

  43. Kristina says

    My family does a weekly game night. We get together, usually on Sunday, have dinner and play games. On regular week nights we just make sure technology gets put away for the hour or so it takes to eat dinner. :) So fun.

  44. Linda G. says

    I make our week nights special by planning my menu ahead and that night I can cook a home made meal that we all can enjoy together

  45. says

    Having teens, we let them cook 1-2 meals a week. We always pray together in the kitchen before a meal. We always eat together, whether at the table, in the living room floor, or on the deck outside. Each week while I’m meal planning, I let everyone have a vote. We cook together as a family.

  46. Neiddy says

    We make weeknights special by cooking a new/different meal everyday of the week. We cook and prepare everything together as a family and after eating and talking we vote if it is a make again recipe or not.

  47. Hope L says

    We try to make weeknights special by adding variety. Whether it’s trying a new recipe for dinner, having a special dessert, or playing games together. Variety makes it fun!

  48. Becky VanGinkel says

  49. Becky VanGinkel says

    To make weeknights special I always let my older 2 pick at least one dinner each week… when our youngest (who is 15 months) is older, she will be allowed to pick also! Plus, I always try to make meals that my kids can add toppings to so that they feel like they are choosing their own food.. things like tacos, or tomato soup with different toppings, ect. !!

    [email protected]

  50. Andrea says

    We try to make things fun by turning on music while cleaning up, eating dinner together and set aside one night a week to play or do something together as a family.

  51. jaclyn dryden says

    I try to make everyday special, but during the week I put a bit more effort into it. I always make sure that we eat together and prep our meals once a week together. Then we walk with the dogs, while we chat about our day. Enjoy every day! Life is so special.

  52. Elizabeth says

    We eat dinner together every night, whether it’s a week night or a weekend. Fridays are pizza day, always exciting around here! :)

  53. Rhea Chladek says

    A weeknight meal always becomes special when my daughter cooks something for the family! She does a great job at making delicious and beautiful dishes!

  54. Shawn says

    We always try to spend time as a family every night if we can. Eating dinner together is most important for us so we can touch base and talk about our day.

    shawn113(at)hotmail(dot)com

  55. april yedinak says

    I make weeknights special by talking the kids to the park after dinner for some fun and fresh air.

  56. Casie K. says

    We all pitch in and do something to make the dinner together and afterwards, we all share in the cleaning up. We end up spending more time together and it makes dinner a lot more fun!

  57. Stephanie Gossett says

    We watch a movie on T.V. every night with our little girls :) We love spending time with them.

  58. sheila ressel says

    We make weeknights special by cooking together and then renting a movie to watch as a family.

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  61. Lianne says

    I wear my baby in a wrap carrier and make a fresh, homemade dinner for me and my husband! The time spent together (and not on our computers or phones) is so special! :)

  62. Rhonda G says

    I make weeknights special by getting everyone involved. We take turns deciding what we will have and all pitch in to prepare it.

  63. Marija says

    We make an effort to do something fun, like go on a bike ride or play music together, lest we get sucked into watching bad TV!

  64. leslie roberts says

    Our weeknights are special because my 13 and 14 year old daughters make dinner almost every night and me and dad clean the table and do the dishes

  65. June Lisle says

    My husband and I make our weekend meaningful by getting our Sunday breakfast burritos and spending time together.

  66. Kristie D. says

    We make weeknights special by eating together and all helping with the dishes. It ‘s a good time for conversation. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

  67. Wanda McHenry says

    I make weeknights special by always having a good meal that my husband enjoys since he works so hard.

  68. ellen beck says

    We make mealtimes special because we have a rule that everyone eats together (well except maybe lunch) it gives us time to sit down, wind down and talk to one another.

  69. Cheryl says

    We love to cook as a family throughout the week, but always save our favorite meals for the weekend: like homemade pizza. Then we pair it with a good show we have recorded during the week.

  70. Jammie says

    We make out weeknights special by talking about your day, no matter how good or bad, it helps us stay connected by just talking. sweepmorey at gmail dot com

  71. Sue Barney says

    I make week nights special by preparing each family members favorites for dinner and making sure I spend some quality time with my family everyday!

  72. Diane Baum says

    We make it special by having theme night dinner-Monday is kids cook, Tuesday is try a new food….

  73. Tabathia B says

    We eat dinner together a few nights a week and sit through the girls knock, knock jokes

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  74. Margie says

    I make weeknights special by planning meals in advance and having dinner ready on time… more time for family when I’m not scrambling in the kitchen.

  75. Mary Beth Elderton says

    We like to sit down together for dinner and conversation. There are things even the little ones can to to help :)

  76. says

    Weeknight meals are always difficult with both parents working and sports and other activities and homework but I think, depending on the number of children you have, give each child “their day” to elaborate about what happened in their day it would help them shine or get over difficulties.
    I would allow each of my kids to say something that happened that day in a “few” words. Then the “star of the day” got to elaborate / share with everyone. You got to hear in short burst what happened to everyone so if you needed to you could talk to each child separately, but each day one of your kids got the “help” of airing what bothered them that day or “shine” on about things that happened too.
    Kat Meller recently posted..Tupperware is holding their Christmas in July Party

  77. Taryn T. says

    We make weeknights special by spending time together after dinner- maybe for a short television show, board game, or a lounge in the hot tub.

  78. Cheryl B. says

    We make weeknights specials by sitting down at the table with no radio, no TV etc and we talk about our day and plan for the next.

  79. Matthew P says

    We make weeknights special by eating together and then spending time afterwards playing board/card games or watching TV/movies.

  80. Margot C says

    I’m big on participation in the kitchen too. Pizza is a maximum participation food (with my home made whole wheat dough) and makes for a fun weeknight.

  81. Sarah L says

    Breakfast for dinner is my go to weeknight meal.
    I’d love to have the GE Appliances Gas Double Range Oven and the dishwasher to make cooking and cleaning up that much better.

    Thanks for the contest.

  82. Fiona N says

    We make weeknights special by cooking traditional food, eating and playing Bingo together if we still have time!!
    Thank You!

  83. Anna Pry says

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  85. Aimee Webber says

    I make meal times special by making family favorite recipes and letting th kids choose what they want to eat each night

  86. Alison Matalanis says

    We make weeknight meals special by trying to make foods that both the kids and the parents like!

  87. Birdiebee says

    I make a lot of freezer meals that have been requested by the family. As the week starts, each family member gets to choose a freezer meal of their choice for their given night. They also get to choose a dessert of their choice during the same meal. It makes it special for each person on their night.

  88. Crystal F says

    We try to make them special by eating together and talking. It’s fun for us to be together! Thank you!

  89. Seyma Shabbir says

    i make my weeknights special by cooking something the kids can help me make. We also play kinect and board games.

  90. Victoria R. says

    You hit the nail on the head with this post – especially with the TALKING! We all get so busy that we forget to talk and listen to each other – that’s what makes weeknights so speical! Each other!

  91. April V. says

    I have a set routine for when I come home from work and since everyone else is usually already at home, I often get surprised with a full, home cooked meal waiting for me! Terrific surprise!

  92. amanda whiltey says

    i make the weeknights special by making my family a nice home cooked meal and us sitting down together.

  93. Mihaela Day says

    i make weeknight dinners special by involving everybody in the family to be a part of creating a special night :)

  94. Jessica says

    Going for walks around the neighborhood with my husband, watching movies, making good food for dinner.

  95. Carolyn Daley says

    We make some weeknights special by baking a dessert like fresh chocolate chip cookies or brownies.

  96. Rosanne says

    Even just lighting one candle on the dinner table and music in the background seems to make the meal so much more enjoyable

  97. Christine Holliday says

    I work most weekdays so during the week nights and weekends is when I get to spend time with my family and we do so many things, play together, laugh together, walk together, ride bikes together.. Whatever we feel like together.

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