I’ve always loved good food as a way to connect with people and celebrate. I know that these days that would be called ’emotional eating’ and would be discouraged but I still think it can be a good thing if you generally pick healthy foods. Now that my kids are older and are eating more varied types of foods, I find food to be a fun way to connect with them too. They have their individual tastes and love to ask for their favorite meals. It’s fun to see their faces light up when it’s their turn to pick what’s for dinner. Ever since we started watching Masterchef together, my older son even wants to help me cook (at least until a friend comes calling for him to play). This makes mealtime an even bigger way to connect with my family.
I try to pick healthy foods and steer the kids toward balanced meal choices. We do, however, like to enjoy the occasional treats like homemade cookies or brownies. These desserts can definitely take ‘comfort food’ to a whole new level. I try to save this kind of cooking for a special time like a family movie/game night. I feel that if we have these guilty pleasures for a special reason then we enjoy them more and don’t expect to eat them all the time. I want the kids to enjoy it as an experience. My mom, the dietitian, always tells the boys to eat slowly and savor each bite so that the pleasure of eating them makes the bad calories worth it. She says then it registers more with our senses and mind and then we are less likely to stuff our faces with bad things. Okay, so maybe I paraphrased her lecture.
My point is that I think food is a great way to bring friends and family together. It can make us happy and can link joyous memories with eating certain foods. I don’t think this type of emotional eating or social eating is so bad. I will never just ‘eat to live’ because I enjoy different flavors and foods. I think eating good food is an experience of life and it’s great to enjoy that experience with loved ones. Passing that on to my kids and teaching them to cook in the process is just an added benefit! So take some time to eat something yummy with your family and enjoy the time to bond…
The societal and sociological value of food, and the passing of that tradition from generation to generation is very important. It provides a forum for much of the family dynamics to play out, and in the middle is the mum or the wife (typically). Agreed that there is comfort in food, but I have found that when family is concerned – food provides a much needed catalyst. ….. BTW …. a little glass of wine doesn’t hurt either!