Written by: Danielle Christy, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Sharing food has always been apart of human history. As referenced in the Bible, we gather and break bread together to forge relationships and build memories with loved ones around food.
Food is used to celebrate holidays, life, and joy. Sitting around the table is a place of memory where we relive our youth and the types of foods that live on through stories of our lives. We all remember those foods like when grandma made liver or when we would try and sneak the dog our vegetables under the table. It brings us back to a time of place and emotion.
The ritual of family dinner began in the mid 19th century when the dining table was created. Dinnertime was a time for the family to gather as one, communicate and build relationships. Parents during this time educated children on religion, conversation, and table manners.
Today the ritual of family dinner had changed. With both parents working, everyone now at home, and constant technology distractions, more people are eating solo, eating standing up, and relying on processed foods to fuel their bodies. Meals are becoming less and less about gathering around the table, so many sales of tables have decreased by 30% in the past few years. So what can we do today to bring back family meals and eating healthier at home?
First off, we can start by cooking whole real food meals at home. The less processed foods and more whole foods we put in our bodies, the more our lives will thrive. It does not need to be fancy; it can simply be a one-pot meal or a sheet pan-roasted chicken dinner with vegetables.
Being organized is key, and knowing what is in your pantry and fridge will lead to family dinner success. Get the whole family involved have kids help plan and prepare the meal. Do themed meal nights and explore different cultures and cuisines. Serve meals family style and even have a picnic outside. Make it fun. There are sixteen opportunities a week to have family meals and build healthy memories around food that last a lifetime.
Eating at home will build healthy relationships and also build healthy minds and bodies. Studies have shown that eating home-cooked meals maintain weight, improve sleep and decrease consumption of processed foods. It’s especially imperative for children. Homemade meals help children build self-esteem, reduce mental health, bring more communication, and make weight control easier into adulthood. The more children are involved in making and serving the meal, the more likely they are to eat more nutritious foods. It also allows them to be creative. Learn about foods they love and build deeper bonds with those around them.
No matter if it is one day a week or all seven, try and make family dinner a priority to bring love, joy, and delicious foods back to the dinner table — one table, one chair, and one bite at a time.
Danielle Christy, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Danielle Christy is a holistic health coach, and self-taught personal chef, dedicated to helping families and people around the world stop feeling overwhelmed with healthy cooking, by showing and coaching them on how to stock their kitchens with healthy ingredients, meal plan and get back to having family meals again. Danielle holds a BA in Hospitality from Northern Arizona University and Certified Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She has helped families of all shapes and sizes, create and establish a concrete strategy to ultimate health through learning what individually works for them and using whole real food as the medicine of life.