The Mealtime Movement

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I love my family. Like a lot. Like I couldn’t imagine my life without them. My kids are such a blessing to my husband and me. When we adopted both Ethan and Eden Jo, our lives forever changed, for the best. They constantly bring joy and happiness into our lives. They also bring much energy, as do all children. All of this energy makes boring moments a rarity. I think all kids have energy that lasts for days and creates fun moments in life. But on the flipside, electronics have created big gaps in families. Though children have energy, they sometimes can focus it on items like iPads and Xboxes. I’m not saying electronics are bad. In fact, I’m thankful for them, especially on road trips and quiet restaurants. Can you blame me? But I do think that too many hours of the day spent watching TV or playing video games can do more damage than good. The biggest damage can happen in family relationships. We would rather spend our days playing Minecraft than spending quality time with each other. It’s a slippery slope. The J.M. Smucker Company believes in helping to bring families together. I’ve partnered with them in their Mealtime Movement, which encourages creativity in deeper connections between people through better conversations. We have adapted some rules in our home that keep the electronics at a minimum and keep the conversation at a maximum. Here are several tips that anyone can try!

1. Add “Tuesday night game night” to your family calendar.

Or any night of your choice. I have found that games create conversation sometimes more than even a mealtimes. My kids alternate choosing a game. We also go all out for snacks. What’s a good game night without the best snacks?

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  1. Choose a mealtime host.

Whether it’s for breakfast or dinner, assign one family member to host the meal. Some of the host’s responsibilities are creating fun conversation, keeping the glasses full, making sure everyone has what they need and making up silly mealtime games to establish some good comic relief.

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  1. End your day with story time.

Every night, we ask our kids to share their favorite stories from the day. Sometimes it’s one story and sometimes they share several stories. It allows them to think about their day and give us as their parents a snapshot of what happened. My daughter usually tells stories that go on and on and on and on.

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  1. Make meals together.

Kitchens always bring families together. Why not cook an entire meal together?! Assign jobs like setting the table, pouring drinks, grating cheese etc.? This can be a great way to spend some extra moments together while prepping for something that we all love to do, EATING.

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  1. Tell stories about grandparents and other relatives.

My kids LOVE to hear stories about their grandparents and other family members. They also love to hear humorous stories about their mom and dad. Kids want to hear snippets of our lives, about romance and about overcoming adversity. It gives them a sense of ownership.


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Being a mom is my greatest joy. I always want to create moments where my kids feel comfortable and excited to be themselves, have fun and chat a whole lot!

This post is sponsored by Smuckers. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

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Comments (2)

  1. Hi, Kirsten,
    Yes, I think sharing games and meals together are so important! When I took my 18-year-old granddaughter to Holland during the summer of 2014, she said that one of things she loved most was that we sat down for meals together with my family every day at about the same times. It brought a sense of security which she loved! Also, when I was growing up, we did the same. We also didn’t have TV until I was a teenager, so we played lots of games or did puzzles together. Precious memories of times I’m sad to say are mostly gone.