Having open and ongoing communication with your kids is really important. Use these family mealtime conversation starters to jump start dinnertime discussion in your family!
In the past, family life often revolved around the dinner table. The family table and mealtime was when important family conversations frequently took place.
By contrast, many families today don’t eat meals together at all. If they do eat together, it’s often in front of the television, or everyone is staring at their phone throughout much of the meal.
But not only are families eating less together, they are also eating faster. According to one source, “60 years ago the average dinnertime was 90 minutes. Today it is less than 12 minutes.”
It’s often been said that you’ll never regret time spent talking with your kids. With family schedules often filled to overflowing with activities, it’s important to make not just eating together, but talking together, a central part of family life.
Creating meaningful family mealtimes is part of creating a joyful home.
RELATED: How to Create a Joyful Home
55 Family Mealtime Conversation Starters
I’ve divided up this list of family dinnertime conversation starters into categories. That way you can quickly find the type of starters most relevant to you.
Make sure to get your free conversation starters printables! Fill out the form below to get access to the resource library and the free conversation cards!
“Tell Us When” Conversation Starters
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Kids love to hear stories and events from their parents’ lives. Use these conversation starters to relate fun or interesting stories, or to share lessons learned in your life.
1. Tell about how you and your spouse met.
2. Talk about how you felt when you found out you were expecting.
3. Share your favorite childhood memory (a special trip, holiday, etc.).
4. Tell about the things you liked to do as a child (reading, hobbies, etc.).
5. If you had a childhood injury or accident, share what happened.
6. Share an (age-appropriate) embarrassing event from when you were younger.
7. Talk about your favorite TV shows when you were a kid (I would only do this if they were wholesome shows you feel comfortable sharing). My kids love watching some of the same things I used to watch, like Little House on the Prairie and Road to Avonlea.
8. Tell about a time you were scared as a child, and any lessons you learned.
9. Share a favorite experience or memory of your grandparents or great-grandparents.
10. Talk about how technology has changed from when you (or your parents) were young.
11. Share a struggle you had as a young person and how you overcame.
12. Tell about how old you were with milestones from your early life such as first words, learning to walk, learning to read.
“What’s Your Favorite” Conversation Starters
Kids love talking about their favorite things. You could have each member of the family share a response to each question, or alternate questions for different people. Encourage discussion of why the particular thing is each person’s favorite.
In addition to sharing favorites, you can also talk about least favorites for each of these topics.
13. What’s your favorite food?
14. What’s your favorite toy?
15. What’s your favorite color?
16. What’s been your favorite family trip?
17. What’s your favorite article of clothing?
18. What’s your favorite Bible verse?
19. What’s your favorite movie?
20. What’s your favorite restaurant?
21. What’s your favorite book?
22. What’s your favorite song?
23. What’s your favorite thing about our family?
24. What’s your favorite animal?
25. What’s your favorite holiday?
26. What’s your favorite season?
“If You Could” Conversation Starters
Kids love to dream about places they could go and things they could do. Use these conversation starters to explore those dreams.
27. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
28. If you could learn one skill, what would you learn?
29. If you could go back in time and meet any historical figure, who would that be?
30. If you could meet any person alive today, who would that be?
31. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
32. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
33. If you could speak a foreign language, what would that be?
34. If you could play any musical instrument, what would it be?
35. If you could play any sport, what would that be?
36. If you could buy anything, what would it be?
“I Appreciate” Mealtime Conversation Starters
Encouraging kids to regularly share appreciation can go a long way in promoting a harmonious family spirit.
In an age when being thankful and grateful is not commonly emphasized, these conversation starters can nurture an appreciative attitude.
37. Share one thing you appreciate about the person sitting to your left.
38. Tell what you appreciate about something that happened to you recently.
39. Share what you appreciate about the country you live in.
40. Talk about why it’s important to be thankful for those who have given their lives for our freedom.
41. Share things you appreciate about your church and church leaders.
42. Talk about why you are grateful to have a system of government where the people elect their leaders.
43. Share things you appreciate about the area where you live (neighborhood, city, etc.).
44. Tell what you appreciate about your school.
“Look into the Future” Conversation Starters
This category of meal time conversation starter is ideal for open-ended discussion. Allow your kids to share their hopes and plans for what may happen in the future.
45. Do you want to get married?
46. What are some things you would look for in a spouse?
47. How many kids would you like to have?
48. Would you raise your kids the same way you were raised?
49. Where do you see yourself in ___ (5, 10, etc.) years from now?
50. How do you think technology will change in the future (and how will that impact you)?
51. What career or life pursuit interests you?
52. What do you hope to accomplish by the end of your life?
53. Do you think the world will be a better place in 25 years?
54. Do you want to be a millionaire (discuss potential pros and cons)?
55. What do you think heaven will be like?
The next time you sit down together for dinner, use some of these family mealtime conversation starters. You may be surprised at some of the responses, which could lead to a whole new conversation of its own!
Family Mealtime Conversation Starters Printable
Be sure to fill out the form below to get your own printable family mealtime conversation starters! When you subscribe to the resource library, you’ll also get access to all our other helpful homemaking printables!
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