Round-Table at your Round Table
There are many elements that go into a family dinner. You have the food, the people, the settings, the conversation, and the environment. We won’t even talk about the clean up; let’s just pretend it doesn’t exist, shall we. In the last couple of posts, we talked about the menu and how to get the family gathered together to eat. Now that everyone and the food is set at the table, what do we do? Family Dinners aren’t necessarily natural or look the same to everyone. So, in order to make things easier for you this Family Meal Month, we wanted to give you a list of topics that will help kick off your family dinner discussions. Let’s dig in!
The easiest way to start off the conversation is doing a round-table on everyone’s day. There are a few ways to do this, but one of my favorites is the high-low game. You go around the table and each person shares the highest point of their day and the lowest point of their day. This fosters discussion, interest, and insight into the lives of our loved ones over the dinner table. High-low can be applied a plethora of ways: of the day, of the week, of the meal(s) you’ve had today/this week, of school, of work, of current events, etc.
Open-ended questions are going to be your best friend at your round table. Questions and topics that allow room for commentary and additions create an environment that encourages your family members to participate in the discussion. Not only does it get rid of the awkward eating silence where all you can hear is the chomping and lip-smacking as people chow down but it develops a whole new ambiance around dinner time - where the family comes to connect, discuss, and learn about each other. The Family Meals Initiative gave us some great stats and infographics to help spread the message!
Now you have a plan to gather, a menu to cook, and discussion topics to use while everyone eats. I’m no expert (let’s be honest here, yes I am), but I’d say you are just about ready to have a Family Meal Night! Now go forth, cook, connect, and prosper! As always, we are so glad that you’ve chosen to join us here at The Spinato’s Family Table. Alla Salute!
*In case anyone has been wondering, “Alla Salute” is a cheers that roughly translates from italian to, “to your health.”