There is no doubt that many of us live a fast-paced life. It’s more usual than not to find both parents working and often on different shifts. There are plenty of distractions that take up our time and energy outside of work. Sometimes we’re so busy getting things done, we forget about the good things in life, like sitting down for a family meal.
Research by the Telegraph found that we are eating round the dining table together less and less. It has been blamed on various social factors, including our attachment to fast foods and munching on the move as well as changes in our lifestyles. People are more likely to eat their evening meal, while sitting in front of the television than they are around the dining table.
Another reason for the disappearing dining table might also be space – modern houses are smaller than the traditional Victorian and Edwardian homes we built in the past and making the most of space often means that dining areas are reduced to a minimum and in a lot of cases are non-existent.
Why You Should Get Back to the Table
Dinner used to be one of the core activities the whole family engaged in. It gave an opportunity for everyone to sit down together, discuss the day and eat some good, old fashioned home cooked food. There is no doubt that sitting down together around the dining table is important. While it can be expedient to simply throw a ready meal into the microwave and slouch down in front of the television, it’s not great for promoting family cohesion and conversation. All you need to do is make a conscious effort to have your meals together at the same time, perhaps set aside specific occasions like Sunday lunch where you all sit down at the table.
Research by Cornell University in America found that dining together regularly has several benefits. Your kids are less likely to develop an eating disorder and more likely to eat healthily. There is some suggestion that kids that regularly eat meals together with the family are also less prone to conditions such as obesity. Sitting down together for a family meal will mean you re-engage with each other. Tip for a harmonious meal – ban mobile phones from adults as well as the children!
You can also build meals around favourite family foods and use preparation time to bring the kids together and teach them how to cook. It doesn’t just have to be at dinner, either. Breakfast is a fun time for everyone to catch up together.
Another dwindling social activity seems to be inviting friends and family around to eat a meal together. These can be wonderful occasions with brilliant conversations and which can contribute a great deal to our own personal sense of health and wellbeing. Why not start a “Come Dine With Me” type social circle?
Making Space for the Dining Table
It’s easier than you think to make space for your dining table and reintroduce it into your family life. There are a number of space saving dining table options; from expanding dining tables to really compact ideas like this 4 seater table and stools from WorldStores.
Go on make dinner more sociable. If you’ve got used to grabbing food on the go or sitting with a tray on your knees in front of the TV, perhaps it’s time you revisited the dining table and brought it back into your life. You may just find it a refreshing change.