Five ways to savour family suppers
Mealtimes can easily become something of a chore, a way to feed our bodies, often forgetting to feed our souls.
Here at Object Story, we're all too aware that these everyday moments can slip by unnoticed and without recognition.
But, it's also these seemingly insignificant rituals that build our family values and shape our memories. The chipped water jug that was bought on a family vacation, the gravy boat passed down from Grandma which comes out each Sunday, the ceremonial lighting of the candle and the way each child folds their napkin. It's these small things that can have the most significant impact on our daily lives, that slow us down and help us to recognise and value how meaningful mealtimes can be.
Here are fives things you could try this evening which may help to make supper more of an occasion for you and your family.
Get everyone involved
Mealtimes are for everyone. Where possible, try to plan ahead so that you can all eat together. It makes life easier cooking just one meal and means that you spread the load. If you have a family, give the children a task, from a young age they can help to lay the table, bring water to the table, fold napkins, and count the cutlery. Do the washing up together; one person washes the other dries - conversations can come about more easily when focused on a task.
Bring out your best
When you have cherished tableware, pottery, linen tablecloths and napkins, it can be hard to bring these precious items to the table daily for fear of breakage and stains (particularly when children are involved!). But having these items in the back of a cupboard won't bring joy either. You will treasure these items more if they are used, loved and serve their purpose. Yes, they may get a chip here and there, but often there will be a story attached to each chip. A story that will be retold at the dinner table and may turn into family legend.
Bring your food to the table
Instead of plating up on the kitchen counter, bring platters and bowls of food to the table for each person to help themselves. It makes the table feel full and bustling and quickly turns your meal into a sharing feast. Each family member can top up on their favourite foods, and it's empowering for children to be able to serve themselves and have a say in how things appear on their plate.
Light a candle
Lighting a candle is one of the oldest and most universal rituals to mark the start and end of a meal. It's a gentle reminder that now is the time to put phones away, to stay seated at the table and to be present. Children can take it in turns to strike the match, teaching about safety while trusting them to take care. Fire is mesmerising, even on a tiny candle, it slows the pace and makes everyone pause for a moment before digging into a satisfying meal.
Slow down, savour what you have created, create conversation and use this special time away from outside distractions to find out how each other are. Talk about your day, your food, how you're feeling - be present and enjoy the conversation that will flow.
Do you have any rituals which you use to savour family mealtimes? Have you tried any of these tips? We'd love to know - please comment below, or tag any pictures on social media with #myobjectstory and @object_story Or, find inspiration on our Pinterest board