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7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 17:03
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7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime

Family dynamics have changed over time. This is to be expected, and is often a good thing. But modern ways do not necessarily always represent actual improvement, and sometimes it’s tempting to take a step backwards and embrace the way families did things in generations past.

Mealtime might be an example of things that our grandparents did better than we do. Most people’s fondest images of family meals are not centered around mad dashes through the fast food drive-up lane or each person microwaving their choice of instant food and eating it in solitude. Most of us, whether it represents our own reality or not, envision the best family meals as the ones that are shared around a dining table.

It’s no doubt a lot harder to do that in the 21st century than it was in days gone by. Lifestyles are different, demands on our time are different, societal expectations are different. But here are some reasons why it’s worth making an attempt to sit down together at the table as a family—even if you can manage to actually make it happen only part of the time.

1. Kids learn table manners. Whether they use them all the time or not, good table manners help people feel confident in any situation in which food is involved, and kids will never regret having learned them. I’m not talking about fancy manners they might need for dining with the Queen of England, or even formal subtleties such as knowing where to place one’s utensils to signal being finished with the plate. What I do encourage is teaching kids basic skills—appropriate to their ages—like learning to wield a steak knife, nudge roly-poly peas into submission, and wind long noodles around a fork. But it’s more than how to use silverware. It’s knowing not to subject fellow diners to the sight of half-chewed food while they talk, and how to pass the potatoes and thank the host. It’s learning to be aware of house expectations—if no food is touched until grace is said or no hats are allowed at the table, it’s a lot less awkward when everyone knows how to play along.

Put God Back Into History And Teach Your Kids What They Won’t Learn Anywhere Else!

When your kids leave home, they will take meals with a wide variety of people, from coworkers to important professional clients to future in-laws. The more comfortable they are at the table, the better off they’ll be. Mentoring and gentle reminders at home are the keys to developing table manners.

2. Everyone learns and maintains communication skills. Dining together involves not only sitting in the presence of others, but interacting with them. “How was your day at work, Mom?” and, “How did you do on the science test, Joe?” are excellent phrases for diners to start with. Saying “please,” “thank-you,” “pardon me,” “you’re welcome,” and “certainly” are all great follow-ups. The ability to listen to others, hear what is really being said, and respond appropriately are wonderful attributes which help people be better friends, spouses, employees, bosses and citizens. So does the discernment to know when and how to offer sympathy or encouragement, or when and how to respectfully decline or disagree.

3. Debates are respectful. Getting along with others is hard, whether you’re six or 60. Sharing a table with people who are not your Facebook friends or who disagree with your politics or whose hygiene habits are different from yours can be an exercise in tolerance and restraint. But in a world where tolerance and restraint seem to be less common than they used to be, the family table is a delightful place to develop and implement them.

My two sons have always been on the opposite ends of the political spectrum, and our evening meal conversations were always lively when they lived at home. We all arrived at the table from vastly different vantage points, argued the issues of the day, and were still family and friends at the end of the meal. Sure, there was some eye-rolling and even a few snorts of derision and raised voices now and then. But we all remember those debates with fondness, and still laugh about some of the more dramatic moments. I’m sure it enriched our interrelationships and strengthened our bonds rather than weakened them.

4. An opportunity for technology-free time. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard people lamenting the constant presence of communication devices in our lives. And yet, we all have trouble escaping it. It can feel like technology swallows us whole.

Family mealtime is the perfect time to set aside a time without phones, tablets, laptops, TVs or earbuds. It’s not a whole camping trip or day at Grandma’s—it’s just an hour or so. An hour of being fully present with those in the room without being distracted by flashing screens and seduced by advertisements.

I never allowed even a TV on in the room during evening meals. I maintained that if I could take time out of my entertainment long enough to prepare the meal, they could take time out from theirs enough to eat it. There were some grumbles at the time, but there are no regrets now.

7 Benefits Of An Old-Fashioned Family Mealtime5. A pleasing and peaceful setting. Ever notice how nice restaurants are the ones with ambiance? You don’t have to spend money on eating out for that. In fact, setting the table for a nice meal at home can be fun for the whole family. Kids can not only set the table, but can have fun creating a nice space for the meal. Think construction paper napkin rings, flowers gathered and arranged in a vase, or other creative accessories and décor.

Light a few candles, get out your best tablecloth (even if it’s a repurposed sheet from a thrift store), and put on some pleasing dining music. Dinnerware doesn’t have to match to be beautiful, drinkware can be mason jars, and it’s more important that chairs are comfortable than stylish.

Take The Stress Out Of Family Drive Time!

People are drawn to beauty. A falling maple leaf, a symphony, a baby’s soft cheeks, a city skyline, a butterfly, a birdsong—and a beautiful table setting shared with loved ones.

6. Time away from outside stress. People are busy these days. I get it. I hear people saying that there is no time to sit down to a family meal together anymore. But the way I see it, today’s busy lifestyles are all the more reason to carve out a special time to set it all aside. Even if it happens only once a week or so, a family mealtime can be a mini-vacation from the pressures of the outside world—and for most families, it’s a break sorely needed.

7. Healthy eating habits develop. Our grandparents grew up learning to eat a variety of foods and not be fussy. Not everyone today does that, and it may be detrimental to our health. A well-rounded diet helps people maintain a healthy weight and avoid health problems. While both kids and adults might tend to reach for prepackaged junk food instead of roasted green beans or sliced tomatoes when eating on their own, it can be easier to make healthy choices when good foods are part of a family meal.

Instead of gulping down food merely as a means to curb cravings, sharing a family sit-down meal can encourage everyone to eat more slowly, avoid overeating, savor the flavors, and enjoy the experience.

If you’re still on the fence about family meals, here are some ideas to get you started. Commit to one night a week for the first few months, and ask everyone to make it a priority. Try offering simple family favorites at first and add new foods gradually, establish a few ground rules to begin and tweak them as you go, and involve the whole family in preparation and cleanup as much as possible.

Even if it doesn’t ever look like anything out of a Norman Rockwell painting, enjoying family mealtime at the table might end up being your own version of “picture perfect.”

Do you agree? Disagree? What tips would you add? Share your advice in the section below:


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Total 5 comments
  • Anonymous

    8. Wife hands you a beer when you get home.

  • goastdale

    Pay attention to #3 in light of #1&2…so where are you???….. 2Thess 2:10..because they received not THE LOVE (Agape)of the truth, that they might be saved. 11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

    123’s of true Christianity v popular & damnable heresies

    #1 “ONE” not triune: ……PART 4 & 5 HOW MANY GODS ARE THERE FOR THE ONE GOD TO TALK TO?? Who was Jesus praying to??!?…. The real question should be … How does having multiple different persons keep this one God/being/entity from praying to himself?! (The trinitarian “schizophrenic” “god-head”) The Trinitarians want to have their cake and eat it too as the saying goes. On the one hand they need to say they only worship one indivisible God being/ entity but on the other hand they feel the need for some reason to keep Jesus or God from praying and talking to himself by dividing him up into different persons!?! It never occurs to them that that since there is only one indivisible God to pray too and Jesus is that indivisible God come in the flesh that he would need to talk to himself as to show us how to live, suffer, pray and die for our/ flesh) benefit not his!?!….. So while Trinitarians are quick to complain that God was not talking to himself at Christ baptism or in Gen “let us” they ignore the logical demands of their own theology! If Jesus is the ONE GOD in flesh and the Father is the SAME ONE GOD in heaven then Trinitarianism demands THE ONE GOD is talking to HIMSELF the same “being”! Claiming that God is multiple different persons as the reason for why God is not talking to himself (because God is three different “selfs”) only demonstrates that what they really worship is in fact not a ONE GOD who talks to himself but three different god “selfs”/ and they all talk to each other! When they speak about who God was talking and praying to, they are quick to say “the other person, NOT HIMSELF!” But if you ask them how many gods do they pray to then they will say “ONLY ONE”!?! They expect you to believe that those three different persons are THE ONE GOD-BEING” which is like calling three different cars “THE ONE VEHICLE” (they are text book examples of prov 26:12)
    Mark 12:28…Which is the first commandment of all? 29. …Hear, O Israel; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD: 30. And ………..this is the first commandment….. 31. And the second is….. IF YOU CAN’T GET THIS “FIRST OF ALL COMMANDMENTS” RIGHT, ALL THE REST OF YOUR “FAITH” AND PREACHING ON LOVE & SIN IS MOOT

    “WHO” it was (what person) that came “IN THE FLESH”, IS THE DETERMINING FACTOR IN WHAT IT MEANS TO BE “ANT-CHRIST”! Even Islam claims Jesus was the Jewish messiah/Christ who was to come in the flesh) they all deny “WHO” it was (what person) that came (to be the Christ) in the flesh!?!…….To deny the father is to deny the son because they are one and the same person that came in the flesh!
    JOHN 14: 8-20 ….Note Isaiah 9:6. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: …: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, … the everlasting Father ….The son, father/Holy Spirit are all the same person, NOT like two different persons working together even as “one flesh” ….The “oneness” between Christ and the father is not comparable to a man & his wife, for only a fool would say “When you have seen me you have seen my wife, how sayest thou then, Shew us your wife?” Notice they asked to see THE FATHER and the response was Jn 14:9 ..“HAVE I BEEN SO LONG time with you, and yet hast THOU NOT KNOW ME, Philip…..Now image some fool trying to claim that statement if you asked to see his wife!?!!? You want to see the FATHER but have I been with you but you don’t know me!?!?!
    Jn 14 continued….…………..17. Even THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH; (Jn 14:6 I AM the way, THE TRUTH,) whom the world cannot receive, .. for HE DEWLLETH WITH YOU, (present tense/standing next to them in the flesh) and SHALL BE IN YOU… (future tense “In them”) 18. I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU (future tense “In them”) Note: The spirit of Christ is the sprit of God and the holy spirit that is why Christ said “I will come to you” (to comfort them, because Christ is the comforter). The spirit was standing next to them in flesh… ….latter it would come to them to be inside of them (inside of their flesh as the spirit we are given)…..that is why. he would send the spirit…… However, Jesus himself here makes the point that the same person who was the HOLY SPIRIT that would come was standing next to them but lets them know “I will come to you again to be Inside of you”
    The whole point to Gal 3:20.a mediator is NOT A MEDIATOR OF ONE, (HEIS) but GOD IS ONE. (HEIS) again, point blank, identifies the number of persons of God! The “but” points out the contrast between multiple persons in a mediation party v the “one” of God. God is not like a mediation party with multiple different persons. …..”the express image of his person” ( the person of God; singular not plural).Any attempt to lay claim otherwise is willful ignorance and delusional nonsense
    TRINITARIANS CONFESS JESUS /THEY ARE NOT POLYTHEIST BUT ARE MONOTHEIST LIKE A LIAR & THIEF WHO “CONFESS” THEY DO NOT LIE OR STEAL The simple fact is that just because you confess or deny that you are in an adulterous relationship and denounce all forms of adultery has nothing to do with whether or not it is in fact adulterous! .. …A rose by any other name is still just a rose AND calling it a water lily does not change the definition of what a water Lilly or a rose is either!…No, Trinitarians confess & preach literally …”ANOTHER JESUS” 2 Cor 11:4
    - Like a thief in your house caught stealing your things insisting he was not there stealing “I CONFESS I am NOT stealing”. You just do not “properly understand” what he is doing/saying. Further, since you never had a “proper understanding” of what he is doing/saying you have no business accusing him since you do not even know what you are talking about in the first place. It is with and in your own ignorance that you base your “false accusations” & “ad homonym attacks” against him…… Ridiculous of course it is ……2Thess 2:11; Titus 1:16; 2Tim 3:5;
    …… should have given you a hint, harking back to Satan in The garden…God said you will die…Satan comes along and states no you will be more WISE……today .God said He is one; but Satan’s children come along and say no three is more WISE and humble in the face of God’s grandeur only “a mystery” that can be understood “in faith”. God uses head and right arm to explain the distinctions between father and son.. However, the Trinitarian heretics say to the effect: “NO, that is just a figure of speech, or that is not what God really means. What God is really saying is that God is three different persons”. Fools, hypocrites and blind guides, God said he was One and by your traditions and vain imaginations have taken the words of God and made them of no effect, refashioning God into your image!
    You can download the complete FREE book from

    #2 SECOND COMING Thou Fool! “I come quickly” so “Hold fast
    till i come”… NOT …“in another 2000 yrs I might be coming soon any time now, so hold fast”!?! …those that deny the second coming of Christ in the war of AD70 are practicing a damnable heresy in denying the lord that bought them ( 2Peter 2:1-2 ;2Tim 4:8/ you cant love an appearing you deny& the context is the 2nd coming not the first)… Mat 7:23..”I NEVER KNEW YOU” …..Mat 10:33. But whosoever shall deny me before men……..sound familiar?…. If I said I am coming to your house in this generation when these things happen but no one knows the day or hour what fool would think I might be coming in 2000 years latter!?!? ..2 Tim 4: 4. And
    they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be TURNED UNTO FABLES.

    Christ promised that only HIS PEOPLE would see him ….John 14:19. Yet a little while, and THE WORLD SEETH ME NO MORE;….. [2 Cor 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ AFTER THE FLESH, yet NOW HENCEFORTH KNOW WE HIM NO MORE….(here the Context of John 14 is his second coming)…..continued…..but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20. AT THAT DAY .. 21. He that hath my commandments, and KEEPETH THEM, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and WILL MANIFEST MYSELF TO HIM……(again taking note “as he is” or 1Jn 3:2)

    22. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, HOW IS IT THAT THOU WILT MANIFEST THYSELF UNTO US AND NOT UNTO THE WORLD? 23. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.( Rev 3:20) 24. He that loveth me not.. (1Cor 16:22)…. KEEPETH NOT MY SAYINGS: ( REV 9:16-20)

    REVELATION 1:7. Behold, HE COMETH WITH CLOUDS; and EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM, …. There are two point to be made here (1) this is a partial quote from OT (Zech 12:2&10; also note Rev 16:15-17 & Zech 14:1-3 with Joel 2:28-3:1,2,12,16 et al) note the context it IDENTICAL to Mat ch 24/ Lk 21/ Mark 13 et al….you know, where Jesus described his second coming with the destruction of Jerusalem!?!?!!?…. (2) there parallel here with ………….Exodus 24:10. And THEY SAW THE GOD OF ISRAEL : and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. 11. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also THEY SAW GOD, and did eat and drink………..But Christ said….. John 1:18. NO MAN HATH SEEN GOD AT ANY TIME; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. A person can see with their understanding and or see with their eyes…. It can see “seen” for certain that everything that Christ described was seen by the folks of that day in His coming but do they perceive that was him? …So what Christ said is true every eye saw him but the world does not see him….. With the eye they and folks still today can see everything Christ described to have taken place, but they do not “keep” ( believe and understand) his words as such they do not see him nor shall they ever.

    The saints who have physical died faithful in the flesh (every man in his own order) are changed in the blink of an eye & caught up to sit on that Great white throne ( this congregation of the saints is the body of Christ that folks will answer to at the judgment and these saints will judge all men who cannot see Christ along with the rest of the world……Folks think they are waiting to see Jesus but they will NEVER see Jesus himself they will only see the body of Christ condemn them the saints judge the world (Rev 3:21; 1 Cor 6:2 et al) the saints are the body of Christ…that is the only part of Christ they shall see….only the saints shall see God face to face…..most peoples idea of the second coming & day of the Lord and the judgment is completely wrong
    or Revelation The First Gospel of The Kingdom

    DAY OF THE LORD”/ YEAR OF THE LORD – does NOT last for 24 hours!?!..Also means the day of resurrection & judgment do not last for one hour or one day either! They only begin (NOT END) in a certain hour & on a certain 24 hour day ….”SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS to arise”…..NOT..”come & get (your new resurrected body) it while it is still hot, only 24 hours of solar power left”!?!

    2Thess 2: 11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12. That they all might be damned …
    or Revelation The First Gospel of The Kingdom
    978-1-4907-0590-3 (SC ISBN)

    #3 There is a sharp contrast between THREE groups :
    (1) “PREDESTINED DAMNED” who were NEVER written in the book of life ………..Rev 17: 8 WHOSE NAMES WERE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, …as contrasted …EPH 1: 4. According as he hath CHOSEN US in him BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
    (2) “MANY CALLED”= ONLY and ALL SAINTS (those who come to Christ) are written in the book of life … Philippians 4:3… ……Rev 21:27; (Only saints are Called and elect; Rom 1:6-7 et al) This is THE CHRUCH and ONLY these can have their names blotted out of the book of life ….….Heb 12:23 to the general assembly and CHURCH of the firstborn … WHICH ………are WRITTEN in heaven,
    (3) THE FEW CHOSEN: Those saints who were alive in group #2 who are now physically dead. They died “faithful” these are the FEW that were chosen faithful…….Rev 3:5. ……; and I
    will not BLOT OUT HIS NAME OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE, (Ps 69:28) …. These are the FEW that are CHOSEN and now that they have died and are saved then “once saved THEY CAN NEVER BE LOST”
    Predestination….its true..its all true…download here Most true Christians go to hell

    • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    8. Cops tell your wife she must have done something to cause it.

  • Daffers

    ABSOLUTELY! Many happy memories of family meals – tried to get my children into the same mode. Succeeded but now they are grown up, they want to bring tablets to the table, or watch television or are constantly on the mobile. Keep trying to keep the techs out of i t, but a struggle!!!

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