I know, what an odd question to write as a blog title, but to be honest, I really want to know!!! Is your table full of papers, mail, and stuff that you end up just eating on the couch? Is your table in the dining room that only gets touched on special occasions and holidays? Or do you frequently eat there? And if you do, who do you eat with?
I ask all that because I truly am curious! “The average American eats one in every five meals in thier car, one in four Americans eats at least one fast food meal every single day, and the majority of American families report eating a single meal together less than five days a week (source).”
People’s schedules are busier than ever and if I’m honest, we (Americans) have lots of stuff, shoes, apps, and activities, but most lack in deep, emotional, and authentic relationships with people. I believe, with all my heart, that your dinner table has a lot to do with that, well plays a huge part 😉.
So here are 4 important reasons to make time to eat together, at a table.
- Who is at your dinner table reflects who you care about the most.
- When you sit down at the table, with people you love and care about, you are communicating non-verbally that you care and value the relationship you have with one another.
- It shows the types of people you care and make time for, but also shows what types of people you need to be friends to. You are limiting yourself to experiencing the richness and beauty that this world offers when we only befriend people that look at act like you.
- Invite someone over who is different from you, ask questions, LISTEN, and have an open mind. It’s amazing what you will learn and discover. There is so much beauty in living in a diverse country! Take advantage of it 🙂
- Sitting down to eat with people creates a special place for vulnerability and honest communication
- There is something about having a meal with people that just breaks down walls of hostility and helps create a space for authentic communication.
- Remember, that even if you don’t agree with what someone is saying, don’t discredit their feelings and it’s not what you say, but how you say it.
- Dinner time is highly beneficial for people’s health, holistically.
- Eating a cooked meal is more balanced and nutritious (usually).
- Psychological health is improved
- Children who do eat dinner with their parents five or more days a week have less trouble with drugs and alcohol, eat healthier, show better academic performance, and report being closer with their parents than children who eat dinner with their parents less often (source).
- Less cases of obesity, eating disorders, depression
- Eating a home cooked meal saves MONEY! Yes, you do have to plan ahead, but most people struggle from financial stress and making your own meals can save you a ton.
- Teaches us to SLOW DOWN and be PRESENT
- This point is vital to our sanity and well-being. There are too many things pulling for our attention and time when the most important things in our life, are the people who could be sitting right in front of us.
- When at the dinner table, put all electronic devices away (unless emergency). Nothing is more disheartening than seeing people sitting together and they are on their phones.
- You will never look back on your life and wish you spent more time on your phone.
Well y’all I hope this inspires and challenges you to make meal time with your family and friends a higher priority in your life. I know at first it may be difficult to figure out times that work for everyone, but I believe with intentionality, it can be possible. Start off with at least 1-3 days! And if meal time already is a regular thing in your home, I then challenge you to open up your home to more people for a meal, especially someone of a different race, ethnicity, age, or socioeconomic background. Please feel free to leave a comment with any tips or stories that you would like to share 🙂