A recent commercial for a furniture brand shows how the grandmother of a household sells off the family dining table, to prove to her children that they don't have time for each other anymore. The digital age has scraped off many valuable traditions and a meal time conversation with family has been the most recent one.
Why is it important to revive this culture among our families?
Having meals together builds a stronger relationship
Every strong relationship is based on open conversations. Meal time is a great platform for this as it takes the disguise of having to eat your meal! No one is forced to talk and as a result, the conversation flows freely. Children develop a stronger sense of security as they enjoy both the sense of 'provision' on the table as well as the emotional bonding with their -family. It is also a time for the family to do things together - setting the table, washing up after dinner or even cooking together.
Children pick up good habits
Children are like sponges – what they see, they do. They are more inclined to imitating their elders -. This is why dining together is an excellent way to instill good table manners in children without having to force it into them. They automatically start to eat what their elders eat and imitate their table manners.
Regular meal timings
Families that eat together are more likely to inculcate regular meal timings into their schedules - which is the first step towards a healthy lifestyle. Erratic meal times confuse your digestive system and metabolism. When your family follows the habit of eating together, it becomes imperative to set a time for it so that everyone knows when to scurry to the table!
Plan your family meals on a weekly basis. Get every member of the family to chip in their ideas or preferences for the weekly menu. While it’s the parents' responsibility to make sure this meals are loaded with nutrition, it doesn't hurt to gather ideas to keep meals interesting -! Besides, it also gets you a buy in from everyone on what's coming up for the week.
Do it together
Try and distribute the work among all the members of the family. Kids can go beyond just setting up the table to even tossing a simple salad with yogurt or lime. Turning off the TV or any other form of entertainment should be the thumb rule here, as it draws away their attention and makes the whole exercise pointless.
Through it all, just remember that your focus should be on the quality time spent with family rather than indulging in an elaborate meal.