Back in the mid-century, families always gathered together for mealtime. Breakfast was eaten at the kitchen Table and then the children went to school. Typically, mom stayed home to care for the home and dad went off to his job. At the end of the day, the family gathered again, probably in the living room, for their dinner together.
During the last several decades, the family unit has strayed from this custom. With kids’ and parents’ busy schedules and extra-curricular activities, it’s hard to find a few free moments to all settle in together and share a meal and conversation.
But what a shame! That time spent together, reviewing the events of the day and discussing what’s going on with everyone is so valuable for the health of the family. Healthy from many standpoints: good eating habits are easier to follow when you sit down to the table for a meal. When your daughter grabs a microwave pizza for dinner or you grab a biscuit and coffee from a drive-through, it’s not so likely to be as nutritious and balanced as a meal that is prepared at home and enjoyed together as a family. It’s also important for the mental and spiritual health of the family. Talking about the day and sharing the conquests, laughs, and even disappointments, are all healthy and positive ways to interact as well as opportunities to teach your children valuable tools for dealing with life.
Luckily, over the past few years, families have begun to recognize that the Family Table holds a valuable spot. Families are starting to make an effort to take most, if not all of their meals together. That isn’t to say that it’s a must to cook everything from scratch or to eat formally for the family meal time to be beneficial. Even if your Monday night means pizza and salad from the local pizza place or if Sunday involves a late brunch of waffles or bagels, the benefits of enjoying food and conversation together still holds true.
What about your family? Do you regularly eat together and share the events of your day? If the fast track of after school sports, gym memberships, and other activities are keeping your family from this healthful practice, take a look at how you can implement a few changes and start to enjoy each other’s company over mealtime. You will be surprised at the many benefits this practice can bring!
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