In this second presentation we listened to by Chef Francis Fouchachon, he describes how food, viewed rightly, enriches lives, especially in the Christian home. Food is more than just fuel for the body. It is a gracious gift provided by God for our enjoyment and pleasure throughout life. Mealtimes together with family and friends provide a marvelous medium for building strong, close, lasting relationships that enhance our stay on this earth.
As Chef Francis put it, “Eating is about stopping, about resting, about structuring your day, about enriching relationship, about enjoying God’s good gifts with family and friends.”
Mealtime should be the most powerful ritual that gathers and unites the family every day. “The observance of daily meals has value that we must not underestimate. Regular meals for which you stop everything should structure your day.” These are mini-events that provide rhythm to life and bring stability and comfort in times of crisis.
Children especially benefit from a structured mealtime ritual by strengthening their self-worth as they see that they are important enough for someone to spend time preparing meals for them and interacting with them. And I will add, having your children help grow at least some of the family’s food provides them a feeling of satisfaction, accomplishment, and self-worth as the family eats the food they shared in producing.
When times get tough, the family meals “are like landmarks as you travel through the day.” This brings great stability to the family and great comfort, something to look forward to amidst the stress of the day.
Contrast this with hurried, on the run meals thrown together at odd times during the day. Does this sound familiar? Does this bring more or less stress to the family? This is unhealthy for both body and soul.
Family mealtime also improves communication and coordination within the family. The family mealtime provides family members the opportunity to savor lovingly prepared food and to talk at length with each other going beyond surface conversation. Through this daily ritual, family members become best friends.
Do you spend daily mealtime together as a family? How have you used your family mealtime to strengthen your family?