The Well-Connected Table

  1. 1. Participate in meaningful conversation with children, allowing them to talk about all parts of their day.
  2. 2. Discuss issues of interest to the entire family, giving children an opportunity to actively contribute and guide the course of those talks.
  3. 3. Make sure no distractions (e.g., books, toys, technology) are brought to the dinner table.
  4. 4. Encourage children to help prepare meals and clean up after family meals. These life lessons extend the time family members spend together.
  5. 5. Encourage family members to remain together for at least a few minutes after they finish eating, again as a strategy to extend time together.
  6. 6. Allow children to take part in planning the menus for family meals, as a way to increase their interest in the meal itself.
  7. 7. For fathers who may not live full-time with their children, family mealtime may be even more important. Fathers should resist the temptation to eat out frequently when they spend time with their children.

About Dr. Randy Leite
Randy Leite is dean of the College of Health Sciences and Professions at Ohio University, where he also holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Social and Public Health. Much of Dr. Leite's teaching and research has focused on parent-child relationships and father involvement with children, especially among at-risk and nonresidential fathers.

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Mealtime Matters.

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