7 Tips For Easier Mealtimes


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What do meal times look like in your family? It can be quite a juggling act, especially if your family members like different foods or have allergies. Add on top of this the complications of buddy family life, extracurricular activities, work schedules, and so on, and it can e a massive headache and source of stress. But does it really need to be?

Easing the stress of mealtimes can help you to satisfy everyone at the dinner table and ensure things go off without a hitch, regardless of everyone's preferences. Read on for some tips on how you can make mealtimes work for you.

Meal Prep

If you’ve specific meals you eat time and time again, can you meal prep or make extra or stock up in the fridge or freezer for another night? This can take some of the thinking and prep work out of the preparation while still enabling your family to eat a healthy home-cooked meal. If you are time-poor, or you work long shifts and are often tired come mealtime, trying to make more popular meals can ease the workload one or two nights a week.

Make A Menu

Sit down, make a menu, and take the guesswork out of what to feed everyone night after night. If you are struggling to come up with different meal ideas or need inspiration, round the whole family up and let them pick a meal for each night of the week. Not only can this help you make meals they want to eat, but you can also prepare your shopping list easier and ensure everyone is happy.

Cook Together

If getting everyone to eat, eat together, or try new foods, why not try involving them in the cooking process? You can try out new recipes, get them to help prepare the ingredients or even have them read you through directions for making their favorite meal. Pick an age-appropriate recipe such as this classic tikka masala which is perfect for older children or teens, and get everyone involved in the cooking process to make it more fun and engaging and to see if you can entice them to try new foods or just reduce fussiness.

Make It Fun

If mealtimes are becoming a battleground, you need to try to make it more fun for everyone. Being able to "play with food" can help engage fussy eaters and make mealtimes more fun for everyone. Some popular ideas include making carpet picnics, building your own meal and self-serving, forgoing dishes, and copying the TikTok trend of serving meals on a foil-wrapped table or even doing blind taste tests.

Eat Together

Where possible, always try to eat together as a family and make it a special occasion so everyone looks forward to it. While this might not always be possible depending on the age of the children, having set meal times can help children especially anticipate when they will be eating and be more prepared. If you can all sit at a table and discuss your day, this can help to increase bonding time and allow you all to connect after a busy day.

Make one night a dress-up night, add in table decorations, and have a party night, or even create a menu as if dining at a restaurant and have everyone play roles such as chefs, wait staff, drink servers, etc.


If you enjoy eating out at restaurants or ordering food, why not recreate these foods at home? Get the kids to make the packing as close to their favorite takeaway as possible while you get on with the preparation and cooking.

Think KFC, Mcdonalds, kebabs, etc. and make your own homemade fakeaway versions and package them up as if they are being delivered. This way, everyone gets involved in the process, increasing the likelihood of everyone eating what you make.

Convenience Has Its Place

Feeding your children a healthy balanced diet is important to ensure they have all the nutrients they need to support their bodies. The same goes for adults too. You need to eat well to give you the energy, strength, and mental clarity to do what you need each day. However, having convenience foods can be a lifesaver when you are pushed for time, overtired, or simply need a no-fuss meal time. Throw in some veg or salad to increase nutrients, and don't feel bad that from time to time you fall back on convenience foods to improve mealtimes.


Family mealtimes don't have to be challenging. Family dynamics, work schedule, and the age of your children can all play a part in how you can approach dinnertime to make them less stressful and more fun for everyone. Finding something that works for your family to encourage inclusion, healthy food habits and reduce the stress of eating for everyone.

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