Eating family meals is associated with healthier dietary habits. Surveys have found that teenagers that eat with families consume less soda and unhealthy foods. Also, their diets fared better in key nutrient content. The benefits are not limited just to children. Having a wholesome healthy family meal is a perfect way for adults to de-stress as well, opines Suveera, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
We look on as my daughter animatedly describes the spat she had with another student in her class today. “He is so mean,” she laments. She is approaching her teens a bit too fast, and the world is only two shades at the moment. “I am so sure he tripped me on purpose,” she complained. Meanwhile, listening not too happy to another being of his gender being criticised, my 7-year-old son decides to take sides and retorts, “No didi (another word for big sister), it was an accident.” While they are on their battleground, I snatch the opportunity to sneak some extra broccoli onto their plates. I think my husband also sneaked a double helping of dessert onto his plate, while I was busy trying to be clever.
A typical scene of our Sunday lunch together. It is sacrosanct in our household. A time when finally we are all gathered at one place, eating, talking, joking and just having a good time. While we do try and fit in a meal together every day, it is not always possible, in as relaxed a way as on a Sunday.
The weekdays are full of different schedules and timetables for all. As much I hate it, breakfasts are often shoved into the hands just before leaving the house to be eaten on way to office or school. Dinners are difficult to coordinate owing to early bedtimes. However, Sundays are usually just what they are meant to be. Relaxed, lazy and fun.
Mealtimes are positive family times which promote a sense of belonging and oneness. Children can count on this regular time to discuss their concerns and worries casually in an amenable manner. We try and make it lavish. Include favourite dishes and a grand dessert. Even try and involve the kids in the cooking process. It is a complete family effort.
Eating family meals is associated with healthier dietary habits. Surveys have found that teenagers that eat with families consume less soda and unhealthy foods. Also, their diets fared better in key nutrient content.
The benefits are not limited just to children. Having a wholesome healthy family meal is a perfect way for adults to destress as well. It reduces the anxiety and strain from long hours at the office.
Add to this, the benefits to your wallet. A survey stated that an average upper-middle-class household spends the same amount of money on meals at home, and outside on restaurants. However, eating at home is more economical, and can drastically cut down on your bills.
The Great Sunday family meal as we know it, is like a plot of a typical Bollywood movie. There is a lot of love, plotting and a few failed attempts at getting your teenager to talk and the final climax, the fight over who gets to eat the last piece of that cake. Add to this the clinking of wine glasses, and we have music as well. Cheers!
Photos from the Internet, sourced from the author
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Suveera Sharma is a postgraduate in English and a qualified software trainer. She is an avid reader and writer. Being the daughter of an army officer, she spent her childhood in various cantonments all over India. At present, she is settled in Hong Kong. She runs storytelling sessions for little kids and writes in her spare time.