How do you eat dinner?

I am curious…how do you eat dinner at your house? Do you serve it family style and let everyone serve themselves? Do you serve youngest first? Does everyone sit at a table or do some eat in another room?

At our house, we do not eat in any other room unless we are having a birthday party and sometimes adults will eat in the living room. Otherwise we only eat in the kitchen or out on the deck.

We serve youngest first usually, since my youngest are one and four and still need lots of food cut up for them. My older kids, ages 7, 10, 11 and 14 get served but no food is cut for them and they can help themselves to seconds unless an adult is up and offers. We usually serve drinks somewhere middle to the end of the meal so as not to fill up on liquids. We do require kids to eat least try everything on their plate and to clean them for the most part, and no dessert if you do not finish the meal. With smaller first servings, kids have control over what they want for seconds and meals are less of a struggle. With six kids, we choose our battles but insist upon healthy food and drinks.

Please share your mealtime routines.

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