I chose ‘family meals’ as a topic because I noticed that our family does not all sit down together and have dinner together. There are several reasons for this (my partner’s shift work, eating at different times because of our schedules, not having a dining table, and others) but it is something I wish we did (it was certainly a memorable part of my childhood).
What I discovered
There has actually been quite a lot of research in to the importance of family meals and eating together. It seems to be especially beneficial for children and teenagers, with many studies showing positive effects (e.g. high academic attainment, strong family bonds, decreased likelihood of smoking/drinking in adolescence). The research also showed preparing food and eating together was important in terms of teaching children how to cook and how to nourish themselves.
I will be putting in more effort to make sure we have more meals together as a family each week (whether that be breakfast, lunch or dinner). We have a small table which I can bring in to our living room and we can sit on the floor around it: maybe not a fancy dining table, but better than nothing!
Also, I decided to help a lady with several grandchildren living with her with her groceries: she has been coming to soup kitchen serves because her money runs out and she cannot afford to buy food. The location of the soup kitchen is changing and she will no longer be able to come, so each week I will bring her a little box of grocery items, so that she and her family can enjoy nourishing meals together.