Hi I am Kathy Moore for about.com parenting. Meal times are one of the few parts tof the day when the whole family can be together. This program will offer tips on how to maximize this quality family time during meals. Some nights just getting a meal prepared is hard enough but in order to maximize quality time try involving the kids in planning the menu. My kids really like to help choose the foods we eat. I think involving them in meal planning may also get them to eat better. While you are cooking, engage your children by having them assist you in the kitchen or by setting the table. Alternatively you can ask them to read a book or sing a song to you while you are preparing the meal. At the table, turn off the television or other distractions and focus on the conversation. Develop a mealtime routine that involves every member of the family. During breakfast, talk about the exciting things that will be happening that day, as well as any changes to your usual schedule. Then, at dinner, nominate a moderator each night to lead the table talk. The moderators job is to make sure everyone, regardless of age, has an opportunity to speak and tell about their day. When the kids take a turn serving as discussion moderator, you will be surprised to see how their conversation and listening skills improve. Family discussions at mealtime are a great way to stay connected with your children. This guided conversation is also a great development tool for younger children, and a good way to really find out what is going on with older children. Developing meal time as family together time does take some planning and patience, but it is a routine that will help the whole family succeed. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at parenting dot about dot com.
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