10 Tips for Better Family Mealtimes

by Tom McGrath

Tom McGrath, author of Raising Faith-Filled Kids, offers 10 ways to help you make the most of your family mealtime.

  1. Commit to a set time for meals (daily, weekly, or according to your schedule).

  2. Turn off the TV, computers, and handheld games, and don't answer the phone. Don’t flip through your mail.

  3. Use prayer to mark the transition from busyness to mealtime. Be mindful of those who don't have enough to eat today.

  4. Slow down enough to taste and enjoy your food.

  5. Hold one conversation at a time. Everyone gets a chance to speak. You can disagree, but you can’t be unkind about it.

  6. Encourage laughter.

  7. Practice manners, such as saying please and thank you and asking politely for people to pass the salt, and so on. Everyone stays at the table until they’re excused to leave.

  8. Give everyone a role in preparing or cleaning up. Even small children can help set the table or put napkins in place.

  9. Regularly invite guests to your table. Welcome them as you would welcome Jesus. Treat your family members the same way.

  10. Always end with a quick expression of gratitude to God and thanks to the cook!

Excerpted from the Mealtime Matters brochure by Tom McGrath, author of Raising Faith-Filled Kids.

Tom McGrath

Tom McGrath

Tom McGrath is a spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition, as well as a writer and speaker whose mission is to help people experience a taste of the Divine.

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