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September 21, 2018
I can remember growing up in a home where mom cooked wonderful food, some I really loved and some... well not so much. But today I still fondly remember the pleasant times we spent having just a regular meal, as a family. And those trips to the farm where grandma cooked our favorite meals were the best. Her speciality was Cinnamon Dumplings. Oh my, those memories make my mouth water right now. Click the link to a traditional South African recipe. Yet when I think about it, there had to be a lot more than just the food to make family meals part of my food memories.
In an article in the Dairy Council of California I found a lovely summary of why these family meals together have become such a lovely memory bank for me and I am sure, you have your memories too.
1. Memories: Taking the time to sit together at mealtime helps create positive memories for yourself and your family.2. Enjoyment: The first and most important place where children learn positive attitudes about food is in the home. Eating meals together starts a lasting and positive relationship with food.3. Self Esteem: Mealtime conversation brings the family together and promotes positive self-esteem in children.4. Life skills: Children learn best by doing, not watching, so get them involved! You can teach children how to cook balanced meals for themselves by including them in meal planning and preparation.5. Traditions: Mealtime is an ideal time to strengthen family ties and pass on family cultural traditions. Whether you are celebrating a holiday or just eating an everyday meal, things you do in your home will be passed down to your children and grandchildren.6. Curiosity: Kids are more likely to try new foods when they are involved in meal preparation. They have a natural curiosity about food so be sure to offer new foods at mealtime (but never force them to try them.)7. Relaxation: Family meals are the perfect time to connect with each other and share your stories of the day. Shared time and positive experiences with your children is great way connect and relax together after a hectic day of work, school and errands.8. Responsibility: Research has shown that cooking with kids and assigning tasks surrounding mealtime, promotes independence and a sense of responsibility in the kitchen – and in life.9. Communication: Having conversations at mealtime increases your children’s vocabulary. Encourage them to speak by asking about the best part of their day and probe more about what made the best part so great.10. Love: Children watch and imitate adults, and look to them to learn proper behavior for everything from saying please and thank you to learning about fitness and nutrition. Mealtime is the ideal time to remind your children every day that they are important and loved.
I can relate to "memories" as I can still visualize the coal stove on the farm creating such a marvelous atmosphere in the large farm kitchen. And did we talk!! This is where we caught up with all the "important" stuff. And off course, when our favorite food was so deliciously prepared, we felt part of the family.
I can chat about those memories for a long time but I think it is time to ask you to relate some of your memories eating together as a family (why not include grandma and grandpa too). Please add your comments below. And I promise to read them all.
May I wish you many happy meals together with your family and close friends.
September 22, 2018
Sorry, we rented a boat not a gravy …..LOL. While the men packed the catch of the day, we kids walked the beach and dug our feet in the sand to dig for clams. On Sunday, grandmom had us all over to her house after church for a seafood feast with linguini, as well as other Italian goodies she learned to cook growing up in Italy. We were a large clan because nonna had 6 children who were all married and had children……..it was a lot of work
I love the old time stories. As kids mom always cooked delicious meals from scratch She was Polish and cooked such delicious ethnic foods which cannot even be replicated today. She would grind the pork for kielbasa or go to the butcher for spare ribs and cook them with sauerkraut and then took the leftover sauerkraut and made perogies for another day. The family always ate dinner together and dinner lasted a long because we were a chatty bunch. On weekends, my Italian grandfather would gather all the men and children on the Italian side of the family and rented a gravy at the seashore. We would catch crabs and then go to the jettys to cut mussels off the rocks. At the end of the day, the men packed our precious catch in seaweed
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