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The B4FD Project features blog posts from guest writers that explore the far-reaching benefits of family dinner.

Family Dinner Month 2012: Sept 17 -- Oct 29, 2012

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Dinner Game: The After-Dinner Show

By Fran Davis

Dinner time is really such a crucial part of the day for the family to get together, share their high and low points and decompress. Read more about the positive effects of eating together here. This time should really be fun and stress-free. This post is one of a series of posts about ways to make dinner time more memorable for your family. The objective of these dinner games? Just to have fun, laugh and learn more about each other.

I’m sure you have experienced it. The family sits down for dinner. The kids eat for a few minutes and suddenly they begin to wiggle and giggle and fall of their chairs.

It is as if the food they have consumed has instantly turned to sugars in their body and they are unable to control their new found energy.

In our house, we decided to channel this energy into an after dinner talent show. Truth be told, the girls came up with this concept all on their own and we loved the time it afforded us to sit and digest our meal for a few minutes before starting the night’s cleanup routine.

They would position themselves at one end of the hallway out of our eyesight and then suddenly appear dancing a funny dance or wearing silly costumes. Some skits became family favorites that would get repeat performances night after night.

Many years after the creation of “The After Dinner Show,” the girls will still perform some of their old standbys and we still all get a laugh out of them.

So, let your kids loose after the meal is over and let them entertain you. Put on some music and let them wiggle their stuff or have them act out a simple play that they improvise on the spot. Do they like to sing? Let them serenade you at the table! The sky’s the limit and the sillier the better.

Do you have a child that is a bit shy? No worries. Let him or her start with something small (a joke, a song she learned at school, his silliest face possible), perhaps while still seated at the table. With encouragement, your child will start to come out of that shell and before you know it, you will have a little performer in your midst ready to entertain you.

Have the kids plan out the next after dinner show a head of time and provide you program information about that night’s performance.

There really are no rules to this dinner game except one…parents must clap, laugh and cheer their kids on!

Be the best audience possible and your kids will remember dinner time with fondness for years to come.

As owner of The Flavorful Fork Personal Chef Service, Fran Davis strives to create healthy, seasonal and delicious meals for her busy clients. She has a passion for cooking and helping others to eat healthier, whole foods and is on a mission to bring families back to their dinner tables to enjoy home-cooked meals. On her blog, Fran provides cooking tips, recipes, dinner games and monthly challenges that will get you living a healthier lifestyle one step at a time. Learn more at www.flavorfulfork.com.

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