26Nov
2014
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Family Meal Ideas

With Christmas fast approaching, we’re all focused on that grand occasion when the whole extended family comes together to celebrate. But it can be too easy to forget the importance of getting together as a household as often as possible. Studies show that family meals have a huge bearing in personal and social health. But it is common knowledge for every mother that a family meal once a week is the best way to keep everyone together.

 

That said, it’s very easy to fall into a rut. Cooking the same meal every Sunday and sitting around soberly until everyone’s finished is far from ideal. In many ways, it can actually be counter-productive to the aim of creating an open and friendly atmosphere.

 

With that in mind, we’ve put our heads together to come up with some great new ideas for bringing your family together.

 

Movie Night

 

Whilst a lengthy Sunday lunch of roast beef is the most traditional family gathering, you shouldn’t shy away from something as supposedly informal as a movie night. A quick and easy dinner followed by a rented movie can be one of the most relaxing ways for a family to spend time together. There’s no pressure to explain your week or discuss any problems you’re having, and minimal effort is involved.

 

It may seem counter-intuitive, but just spending time together as a family is enough to demonstrate that you exist as a support network. For extra points, you can plan the rest of your day around the movie. Your younger children may enjoy making snacks in the afternoon. And you may be able to convince your older kids to take a walk with their parents before settling into the sofa for a few hours.

 

Board Game Night

 

Similar to movie night, this idea focuses on getting the family together for an activity. Board games can be a fantastic way to interact without taking anything too seriously. This idea is a step-up from a movie night in terms of sociability. It can be a great thing to organise when you feel like your family aren’t talking enough without forcing everyone into an awkward and stilted formal meal.

 

Food can be arranged around the night, with do-it-yourself meals like fajitas and wraps being particularly great additions. Snacks can also be prepared throughout the night, with nachos and dips being the natural accompaniment to a Mexican fiesta.

 

Picnic Day

 

In the warmer weather, a picnic can be a great way to bring the family together. The food can be made in advance or bought on the day, and if you set up in a local park, the kids can invite their friends while you chat with other Mums and Dads.

 

Picnics have the added advantage of taking place in the day, making room for a lazy night in or a special outing in the evening. They are a great, informal way of having fun as a family, with the bonus of a fresh-air setting and outdoor activities.