Kids who eat meals with the family are more likely to do well in school, delay sexual activity, eat their vegetables, and even speak articulately. Mealtime socialization helps children learn family values and even more so, “A meal is about civilizing children, It’s about teaching them to be a member of their culture,” says Robin Fox, an anthropologist who teaches at Rutgers University in New Jersey. However it’s not only family time that’s important. General socialization, especially with familiar and helpful adults that may or may not assume a “mentor” position is critical to children’s development of language and social skills.
To really immerse your children in a happy, healthy, social environment, try throwing a backyard barbecue or dinner party every once in a while. If you really want to bring the family together and have your kids feel closer with their family, why not get the whole everyone? Invite brothers, sisters, grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, and various aunts, uncles and cousins over for a dinner party at your place. Dinner parties are not just beneficial to your child’s development, they promote family bonding, allow everyone to catch up, and can be the perfect opportunity to smooth over any conflicts within the family. All you have to do is plan a menu and your dinner event will be well on its way.
Tips for Planning Your Family Event
All you need to do is consider family dinner menus, and pick which ones are best for your family. Here are some tips to decide on a family dinner menu:
- Try to have something available the second your guest comes in. You don’t want people grasping their stomachs as they wait for the meal to be finished. Try something simple, like crostinis, garlic bread, deviled eggs, or chips and dip for your family dinner menu.
- Decide whether you want to have a sit-down or buffet style dinner when planning the menu. Buffets offer a variety of foods, so you may have to do a lot more cooking, however with buffet style the host or hostess doesn’t have to serve every guest individually.
- If you do decide on a sit-down dinner, try to follow the general meal structure of salads, entrees, then desserts when making your family dinner menus. Salads will add some greenery before the meal and desserts will make the family dinner menu feel that much more festive and decadent.
- Make sure to include salads, greens, and other healthy options for dieters on your family dinner menu. Those who are watching their figures and health will be grateful for your consideration.
- Also help vegetarians in mind, if you have any vegetarians in the family. For example, if you’re serving sirloin steaks have a stir fry or veggie-based dish to satisfy your vegetarian or vegan guests.
- Make your family dinner menus ahead of time and plan in advance. You may want to prepare a week-long plan so that you don’t get overwhelmed the day before and the day of the party.
- Make space for food in your refrigerator before you even start planning out your family dinner menus. Clean out the food in the fridge and ice beverages in an ice chest to make room in the fridge.
- Remember that you can also use an ice chest to keep things hot if you’re in need of extra storage when you’re preparing the meal.
- Most importantly: consider your guests! Even if you’re throwing an intimate, family dinner party, be cordial and consider what dishes they would like over your own tastes.
With the help of this guide, hopefully you’ll have no trouble at all pondering family dinner menus and picking the best one for your needs. It’s time to celebrate the whole family coming together. Cheers!