On weekend mornings I put down the tools and Eric takes over as head chef. Lately even the boys are joining in. Eric shows them the careful art of cracking open an egg and I don’t seem to care too much if a few don’t make it into the pan!
When everyone shares in the making of the meal, the sharing of the meal follows as a natural outcome.
Not every day is a weekend of course, but we do try eat dinner together each evening during the week; going round the table with what we call the “highs and lows” to give everyone a chance to share the ups and downs of their day.
Regular family meals anchor the family. But what I’ve learnt is that these don’t need to be lavish affairs – they can be quick, conversational, quiet… What’s most important is regular face-to-face contact.
A family culture of regular shared meals creates a sense of support, encouragement and love that stays with your child for life. And parents benefit from that contact too.
Younger kids pick up vocabulary and how conversation works, while older kids hear how a problem is solved, learn to listen to other people’s concerns and respect that people have different tastes.
Most of all, a meal is about sharing – especially in the simple and loving act of passing food around and serving each other.
Miriam Weinstein, author of The Surprising Power of Family Meals, said, “Eating together makes us smarter, stronger and happier.” As Enzi we can only agree: we are all for family meals and bringing everyone to the table – for lots of eye-to-eye, face-to-face and heart-to-heart contact.