Family Meal Time Is An Old Fashion Essential
By Candace Green
Family meal time has been an essential form of family unity for generations.
Most of us can probably recall many table memories and often we can find ourselves smelling mamma's good cookin and daddy solving our daily problems.
In these modern times of fast food and paper plates many rarely take time to plan a healthy home-cooked meal and sit down with the family for fun, food and fellowship.
Work schedules are colliding as mom and dad get home at different times so the children raid the refrigerator for hot pockets and tv dinners.
After the microwave menu is heated ,kids run to the tv or video games for their connection with some fairytale personality that could care less if they had trouble at school that day.
There is just something very special when a home-cooked family meal is prepared and the family gathers around the set table, says grace and enjoys hot fresh recipes.
Mealtime can be a time of reflection, advice, compliments, laughter and many other ways of communication with the ones you love.
Without mealtime many parents stay out of touch with their children's grades, peer pressure issues, school calenders, emotional and spiritual needs.
I am not saying that parents that don't have mealtime do not connect with their kids. I am saying, " By eliminating these precious opportunities we can slowly lose touch." On the lighter side if we choose at least 4 to 5 times a week to gather around the family table, there will be a great improvement in family togetherness and intimate understanding of one another's feeling.
Think about it! At Christmas and Thanksgiving when the family comes in from across the nation and gathers in one place at grandmas house to eat her homemade noodles, hot rolls and pumpkin pies, how does everyone feel? There is usually drooling over the homemade food that grandma spent hours preparing, but enjoyed every minute of it. The air is filled with lots of laughter, jokes and timeless stories told. Lots of hugs, kisses and pats on the back are shared tenderly. Everyone temporarily forgets that life is hectic so they indulge in the gift of each other. When it's time to say goodbye, there is eager anticipation building for the next hello.
When we want to connect with old friends, church groups or clubs we usually plan our meeting around food. Food is definitely a powerful motivator.
Kids adore when mommy or daddy cooks for them, they often pay nice compliments, enjoy setting the table or even helping out with the cooking itself.
Messes are a big reason why many threw away family meal time. Train your children to help. Older children are capable of cleaning up it all, but younger ones may need a little coaching, but you can make it fun for them and less stressful for you. It's just all about taking some mental effort to strategize what works for you and then posting a priority on your memo list and doing it.
The health benefits of home-cooking is undeniable, though you still have to choose recipes carefully.
You can pass out a comment card after each meal to see how they liked your menu, when you see their ratings it will help you determine what really makes them rock at the dining table. You can also take requests, but you will have to explain that it can't be pizza every-time. (Note: Speaking of pizza, homemade pizza can be put together by a family assembly.)
The old fashion family meal time will never go out of style! When your family is grown do you think they will just reminisce on all the wonderful McDonald Happy Meals or Sonics drive through onion rings? Most I am sure will remember moms apple pie and daddy's spicy chili and most important of all they will remember the time you sacrificed (not just slaving in the kitchen), but to spend time with each other. The dividends are worth the investment.