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  • Writer's pictureLiz

A Holiday Meal: The Importance of Eating Together

The dinner table can act as a unifier, a place of community.

Sharing a meal is an excuse to catch up and talk, one of the few times where people are happy to put aside their work and take time out of their day. After all, it is rare that we Americans grant ourselves pleasure over productivity.

For many parents, it would be much easier and simpler to forget about family dinners. Jobs, children, after-school activities all contribute to families being constantly on the go, thus feeling the need to eat on the run. But more and more parents are realizing the importance of shared family time at the dinner table. Often, this is the only time when all family members are all together in one place. 

Although family dinners are viewed by some people as another burdensome chore at the end of a tiring day, more American families realize that the benefits of sharing time at day's end cannot be measured by calories alone. Numerous studies show that eating together not only is an important aspect of family life, but helps make weight control easier.

When a family sits down together, it helps them handle the stresses of daily life and the hassles of day-to-day existence.

In many countries, mealtime is treated as sacred. In France, for instance, while it is acceptable to eat by oneself, one should never rush a meal. A frenzied salad muncher on the métro invites dirty glares, and employees are given at least an hour for lunch. In many Mexican cities, townspeople will eat together with friends and family in central areas like parks or town squares. In Cambodia, villagers spread out colorful mats and bring food to share with loved ones like a potluck.

Elizabeth David, who was recognized as the sort of soul-stirring American culinary evangelist du moment in the 1950s, once wrote, "Eat simply and eat together."

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art

May I recommend a bison roast ;)

Cheers To You & Yours!

Written with excerpts from:

The Importance of Eating Together. Retrieved from:

The Family Dinner Project: Retrieved from:

Why the Family Meal Is Important. Retrieved from:

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