Why the table is king…..


Why the table is king.....

My wife and I really, really love cooking and eating together, whether with friends or just with our kids. Those who eat together stay together they say – but it is also about what you eat and how you eat. This terrific article from Time magazine touches on some of the reasons:

‘‘In fact, it’s the experts in adolescent development who wax most emphatic about the value of family meals, for it’s in the teenage years that this daily investment pays some of its biggest dividends. Studies show that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and the more likely they are to do well in school, delay having sex, eat their vegetables, learn big words and know which fork to use. If it were just about food, we would squirt it into their mouths with a tube,” says Robin Fox, an anthropologist who teaches at Rutgers University in New Jersey, about the mysterious way that family dinner engraves our souls. “A meal is about civilizing children. It’s about teaching them to be a member of their culture.”

The most probing study of family eating patterns was published in 2011 by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University and reflects nearly a decade’s worth of data gathering. The researchers found essentially that family dinner gets better with practice; the less often a family eats together, the worse the experience is likely to be, the less healthy the food and the more meager the talk. Among those who eat together three or fewer times a week, 45% say the TV is on during meals (as opposed to 37% of all households), and nearly one-third say there isn’t much conversation. Such kids are also more than twice as likely as those who have frequent family meals to say there is a great deal of tension among family members, and they are much less likely to think their parents are proud of them.’

I do not want to sound ‘holier than thou’, but we have always believed that the table is a central part of our family life. Our children have always eaten what we eat and always stay at the table and talk to us about their day or about something in the news, or we have just laughed, cried or argued about life together. They have never had T.V. dinners and both are my best critics when it comes to my cooking. They know what they like and if nothing else I would like to think that they now will be imbued with a passion for food and cooking and socialising over a meal. My daughter,17, is currently a mad keen baker, producing marvellous cakes, and my 15 year old son makes some mean dishes, in particular a great green Thai curry. Watching them cook gives me enormous satisfaction. Maybe it’s a primeval survival thing.

Eating with friends and family is just such a rewarding experience. A good meal, no matter how grand or simple is better shared.

Tables really are the centre of the universe!

16 thoughts on “Why the table is king…..

  1. Keith couldnt agree with you more, in fact we have a gang of friends where we each do dinner or Lunch parties so much more intimate, personal and relaxing than going to a restaurant and nobody worrying about a bill, I know of nothing better than cooking or being cooked for at home..doesnt get better than that, Of course we still go out to Restaurants but few live up to expectations,Its the best thing in life my kids all grown up never had a ready meal in life and enjoy the pleasures of cooking friends ands family sad that has become rare in this modern world


    • Thank you.I think we would get on very well, Johnny. Same approach to life and food. Will definitely make the effort to share a table with you one day!


  2. Pingback: Lesson Three: You Eat What You Are | eat play move

  3. I noticed your kids are 15 &17–mine three are in their 20’s now, and all officially out of the house with the youngest is still finishing college. I can’t tell you how rewarding it is to both feed them at the table each time they come home. It truly is king: wait till you experience their sheer ravenous joy at sitting down to YOUR food again. My kids feel like royalty because they recognize, we really do eat well, and so do they, because of us. Not meant as ego, but I must say, I’m proud of it. Single son in urban apartment lists Zojirushi indoor grill one we got him one of best gifts ever? Stuff like that.


    • We share the same philosophy, clearly – thank you so much for stopping by my blog – could you tell me what a Zojirushi grill is? Sounds interesting!


      • Oh sure–it’s a small indoor electric grill for the counter/table. If you can’t have a grill outside, such as my son in his apartment, it’s a great substitute. A George Foreman is a popular brand here, but Zojirushi is a well regarded Japanese brand–actually popular in Japan. How nice he can grill some asparagus, zucchini (courgette!) and even cheese for his vegetarian girlfriend and still have his meat grilling on the side. Easy clean-up, healthy, tasty, pretty… yum!


  4. Pingback: Lesson Three: You Eat What You Are - Eat Play Move

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