Lifelong Benefits of Gathering Your Family About the Table
When you think about gathering around the table, what do you see? Do you wish for slower mornings, with bacon sizzling and voices chattering as family checks in before a long day?
Maybe a few memories rush in from your childhood. You might fondly remember evening meals as a kid when the pace of life felt slower. You might reflect on the dimmed dining room light on winter evenings as you passed around the green beans and potatoes.
Or, perhaps the thought of your underused dining room table stirs up a present longing – one for regular evening meals with your own family.
Making time to gather about the table for a meal has numerous benefits. While our modern lifestyles make doing so harder, it is still possible for your family to gather regularly and often.
The Gift of Family Gathering
Gathering about the table stirs something deep within us. It creates shared memories, provides a sense of connection, and presents a canvas for conversation between family members and loved ones.
Regular and consistent family dining is linked to lower levels of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, higher self-esteem, resilience, and self-confidence.
Studies also show that family meals promote wholesome nutrition and stronger academic performance in children and teens.
Additionally, family mealtimes are an excellent time to involve kids and teens in learning some necessary life skills. For instance, have younger children set the table and fill cups. And then, let the older children and teens assist with the prepping and cooking. Everyone can lend a hand with the cleanup! The time spent together setting, preparing, and cleaning up provides for even more conversation and connection.
Want to make your family’s evening even more lively? Have everyone select a few favorites from their playlists and play music throughout.
5 Tips for Gathering About the Table
With active jobs, varying school environments, and chaotic schedules, it’s quite the task for a modern family to make space in their days to sit down and enjoy a prepared meal – together.
While there are several hurdles the modern family faces when organizing family meals, doing so can be simple – as long as you stay committed!
#1. Determine Your “Why”
Why is dining together as a family important to you? Involve the entire family in this conversation and brainstorm how your desired family dining experience might look and feel. By including the whole family in this decision-making process, you create a sense of shared ownership and commitment to the goal of gathering.
#2. Set and Communicate Expectations
It seems modern-day families juggle an endless and dynamic set of schedules. Set your family up for success by setting expectations in advance – asking them to prioritize and reserve time in their calendar for gathering. Once you decide what time each week you will come together, record it somewhere where everyone can see it as a visual reminder of that commitment.
#3. Create Themes
To simplify the planning process and make each week more fun overall, assign themes to your mealtime gatherings. For example, Sundays might be slow cooker night, or Tuesdays may be taco night! Yum! Involve the family in creating these themes, and mix them up monthly to explore new meals together!
#4. Get Custom Meals Delivered
There isn’t enough time in the day for many families once work is over and everyone gets picked up from school, daycare, and extracurricular activities. And that’s where we come in. Your family will always sit down to a nutritious, wholesome, and delicious meal prepared just for you with our personal chef services. No prep time or planning required! Let your family be your sole focus, and hire a personal chef!
#5. Compromise If Needed
Family meals don’t have to be all-or-nothing, nor do they have to occur at dinner time! Start by organizing one or two meals per week, and if they happen to be on breakfast or lunch on the weekends, that’s still perfect. The benefits of gathering about the table aren’t limited to evening, weekday meals. You can connect, communicate and enjoy each other’s company at any time of the day, seven days a week!
Have Your Best Meal Yet
These ideas are just the beginning! If you make it your intention to gather with your family for regular and consistent meals, remember it’s a journey specific to your family alone. Family mealtimes don’t need to look like what we see on television or even what you experienced as a child.
Family meals are all about the unique individuals who gather about your table. It’s about prioritizing connecting, sharing a moment of pause, and showing each other that no matter how busy your schedules get, those who gather around your table are priority number one.
Gather and Enjoy
Appreciate the ability to enjoy good food, quality conversation
and life's sweetest moments!
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