Life is more fulfilling when shared with others, and the same goes for mealtime. Catching up, creating memories and raving about your new favorite show are all great reasons to gather around the table. But did you know there are other unique benefits to communal eating?
Beyond nutrition, the sociological benefits of shared mealtime can boost our mood and bring us closer together.
Join the Open Prairie® Natural* Meats brand team as we dig deeper, examining how a simple plate of food can transform into something much bigger — a way to connect with yourself and others.
A chance to slow down
We’ve all been there: You’re running late for work and decide to scarf down a quick breakfast, yet you don’t feel full afterward. What gives?
While our stomachs are always communicating with us, it can take a while for that satiated feeling to set in.
Communal eating helps us slow down as we talk and listen between bites. Eating slowly helps you tune into your body’s satiety signals. Not to mention giving you greater appreciation for the food on your plate.
Time to reflect
It’s normal to feel satisfied and happy after enjoying a meal with others — but not just from the food. Sharing meals provides a sense of rhythm, regularity and a chance to reflect on the day, allowing you to press pause and focus on what matters. Trust us, that endless to-do list can wait!
Communal eating and everyday life: Where does it fit in?
Don’t just make it about dinner
After a long day, it can be overwhelming to prepare a meal and wrangle the whole family. We’re all busy, and most importantly, every family is different. Spend meals together based on what works best for your family. Maybe it’s breakfast instead of dinner!
While it would be great to spend every meal together as a family, it’s not always realistic. Start by setting one or two days aside for family meals. Put it on your calendar to set the expectation for your family and yourself.
Meet up for lunch
Meeting up with friends or colleagues is the perfect excuse to grab lunch and catch up. Plus, it creates a break in your day and gives you something to look forward to.
Get everyone involved
Choose easy-to-prepare meals so the whole family can participate, even the kids. Share responsibility so everyone has different age-appropriate tasks, like setting the table, prepping ingredients, measuring, helping cook or washing up. Keep the television off so you can all talk and share as a family.
Sharing meals with others has a variety of benefits that go beyond nutrition. From mood-boosting qualities to creating memories with loved ones, communal eating can help us feel happier and more fulfilled.
This article is part of a three – part series on nutrition and wellness.