Some years ago, family dinners were a tremendous part of home life. It was considered a must – no matter what. It was insisted upon that everyone sits at the dinner table together, to discuss the day’s events. However, as with all things, this too has changed to adapt to the rapid pace of today’s lifestyle.
These days family time is more valuable than ever, and trying to fit a good, wholesome family meal in between work, school and other activities may seem almost impossible. Balancing your work and family is a must, and one simply has to find a way to make it work. “This has become a challenge in many families lives, shared Craig Hutchison, CEO of the real estate agency, Engel & Völkers Southern Africa. “Between all the activities the schools offer these days and the increasing pace and hours to which the business world has extended, it is so easy to lose that personal touch between each other. Technology, which was meant to make our lives easier, in some cases can be the cause for the lack of personal communication” Craig added.
“It is therefore important to make a point of dedicating time for the family to get together. One way to ensure this could be to have ‘family cooking time’. It allows the opportunity to plan a meal together whilst catching up on the day’s activities”. Although the thought of having the kids in the kitchen may be horrifying to some, this does not need to be the case. The kitchen is a perfect place for bonding. You will find yourself being more creative with meals, sharing stories, laughing and learning new things about one another. It can be fun too, do not worry too much about the mess, the laughter will make it all worthwhile.
To save you even more time, there are also now convenient services which delivers all the ingredients needed to prepare a healthy meal, right to your door. This helps keep meals interesting with new items, whilst also saving on shopping time and eliminating waste as they provide you with the exact ingredients you need to prepare the menu. One such an example is www.daytoday.co.za. You order your menu, and receive a box filled with recipes’ and ingredients. Items are marked to show exactly which items go into which meal. This could make it even more exciting for the entire family, as the end result will be a surprise and new for everyone, instead of the same-old meal which we are used to.
Although even with the traditional meals we know and are used to, you might also be surprised to find yourself less tired and more relaxed after a cooking session with the kids. Involving your children in this, by them assisting in preparing some of the meals for the family, is engaging and it reinforces responsibilities. It will help to boost their confidence in trying new foods, especially for the picky eaters and it is a great way to teach them cooking skills, whilst getting some well-deserved help at the same time.
The pride that a child feels after helping to prepare the meal to which they are sitting down with is undeniable. Meals should be a social activity, not only a means of fuelling ourselves, but also as a medium to interact and engage with one another. Be patient, allocate specific tasks of a meal to different family members and involve everyone in the process, as this encourages an appreciation for the effort required to create a wonderful meal. Trying new things and allowing your kids to pick new recipes will help keep them interested. It is thus important to make time for family cooking as there are plenty of benefits for you and your children, and it does not have to be a daily activity to see the all the benefits.