The Family Table
Among the most lasting and powerful traditions in family life is one that seems to have more influence than almost any other – the family meal. Recalling your favorite family experiences usually leads to thinking of such times as the weekly Sunday meal, family mealtimes during Thanksgiving or other holidays, or a Saturday morning breakfast with Mom or Dad. Why are family meals so powerful? Sharing a family meal provides an experience that touches all of our senses – sight, touch, taste, smell and listening to warm laughter or good conversation. Family meals help provide a regular, consistent opportunity to create a shared experience that is meaningful and offers a sense of belonging to all. Research has shown that regular and meaningful family meals offer a large variety of benefits to children and parents.
Family meals offer the opportunity to connect with each other, communicate about family happenings, and give each other time and attention. While families are encouraged to share meals, not every meal has to be a sit-down dinner extravaganza. The most important thing about family meals is to make them frequent, fun and family-centered.