Tips for a Successful Family Dinner and McCain Potato Contest

This family dinner post is sponsored by McCain Potatoes and Mom Central but all opinions expressed here are my own.

Growing up many years ago, family dinner was very important in my house.  My dad didn’t get home til after 6 but we always sat down to eat dinner together.  You did not answer the phone, read a book, listen to the radio or get distracted by anything else during the family dinner.  You ate and you talked to your family.  Fast forward 30 years and now I am just as adamant about the sanctity of the family dinner as my mom and dad were.  My kids know that they cannot answer the phone or have their music playing while we eat.  The hardest one to convert to the family dinner rules was actually my husband.  During March Madness we seriously fought like cats and dogs about turning off the TV to eat dinner!  Then we got Comast DVR and started taping the games to watch AFTER dinner.  Peace and harmony as a result of technology. It is a beautiful thing.  I firmly believe that the way to staying connected with your family is through the family dinner.  If you are thinking your family needs to reconnect a little bit, here are a few of my tips for making the family dinner a happy time of day for everyone.

Tips for a Successful Family Dinner

family dinner tips

1.  Be prepared:  Make up a menu for meals you can create quickly.  Keep your pantry stocked with the ingredients you need for those meals.  No worrying last minute about what you are going to eat.  Just look at he list and pull out the ingredients.

2.  Enlist help:  Even the smallest of children can help prepare the family dinner.  My kids jobs when they were little included things like snapping green beans  and setting the table.  Start your kids off at a young age and the concept of a family dinner will be deeply engrained by the time they move out on their own.

3.  Set a goal:  If you NEVER eat together as a family try to aim for just 2 or three days a week where you sit down to a family dinner together.   Even just sitting down a few days a week is better than nothing!

4.  Learn to use your slow cooker!  The slow cooker is the perfect way to enjoy a family dinner with very little effort on your part.  Put things in the slow cooker in the morning and when you get home from work or school just have the kids set the table and sit down to eat!

5.  Lay out the rules ahead of time.  Make sure your family knows what to expect.  If the phone rings you do NOT answer it.  There are no electronics allowed at the dinner table.  You will speak to each other in respectful voices.  Okay, this one is hard.  I have teenagers and I swear they live to torment each other.  But, we are still working on making the family dinner a place where we do NOT argue with each other.  It’s a work in progress!

6.  Serve healthy appetizers:  Sometimes cooking a family dinner might take a little while.  Hungry toddlers are CRANKY toddlers.  Put out a tray of fruit, veggies, cheese and crackers to nibble on while you work on preparing your dinner.

Family dinner is an important time of the day.  Studies have shown that kids who sit down with their parents to eat dinner do better in school and are less likely to get involved in drugs and alcohol.  You will also be more connected with your kids and will have time to actually talk to them about their friends, school, and what sort of things they have been up to lately.  The other really big perk to the family dinner is that people eat healthier when they sit down to a meal together!  And remember, not every single thing you serve needs to be completely from scratch.  A combination of fresh foods with premade foods that are minimally processed with make getting dinner on the table much easier.

McCain LogoLoad up on groceries your family loves, and bring naturally good moments to the dinner table every time you serve McCain Potatoes.

McCain Grocery Goodness Giveaway

McCain Potatoes is running a Facebook Contest where they will select 1 winner each week (8 winners total) to receive a $500 grocery store gift card!  Contestants can also check out the Grocery Goodness Giveaway tab for to receive a $1 off coupon off any 1 bag of McCain Potato products!

Want to enter?  Check out McCain Potatoes on Facebook!

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 Disclaimer:   I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for McCain Foods. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.







About Diane

Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can't quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke!


  1. I have always felt that a dining table was the most important piece of furniture. We always ate together at the table when growing up and as I raised my family. Love the tips especially the inclusion of the slow cooker.
  2. Setting out expectations beforehand is really smart! We always had a certain day of the week which was set as family day and we enjoyed all those meals together!
  3. I love McCain! Wonderful tips!
  4. We love potatoes, I love using this as a side when I cook dinner during the week, and my boys are very happy! Mitch
  5. we eat together as a family too. we made a conscious choice to do so early on in our relationship-- and we still do it today. we eat at the table, no tv, radio, phones, gadgets....nothing. we talk to one another and ask questions. we set the table together and clear it together. :)

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