Food at Home and in the World
Food is a social and emotional experience that brings family and friends together to share and bond, while creating understanding. “You are what you eat,” means that food impacts the quality of your cells, so that when a family eats the same foods, they experience another level of intimacy and connection.
Eating meals together and developing celebrations around food establishes traditions that are pleasurable, satisfying, and joyful, and they also provide enduring memories. Because family members often eat out, due to busy lifestyles, creating family unity through food may require an extra effort.
One father I know ate the same foods he fed to his child, so that he could understand his child’s experience of how the food tasted, along with its physical and emotional effects. Even if you do not eat dinner at the same time as your child, taking time to sit with him to share food can help him have a social sense of eating, rather than eating his food alone.
A commitment to the regular sharing of food and conversation for some mealtimes each week teaches your child social skills and allow everyone in your family to connect up and share their various activities outside your home.
Daily food adds up to make your child’s condition; therefore, simple, homemade, quality foods help build his health and temperament. However, making dishes for special occasions with a wider range of ingredients that are still healthy can provide enjoyment and cultural experiences for your family.
If you share a holiday or birthday meal with friends or family, go on a picnic, or take a trip to the beach together, you can create your own family traditions and celebrations that help your child develop his sense of identity and belonging.