Chinese New Year is round the corner and for most families it’s a time when the family is gathered for the all important reunion dinner. It doesn’t matter how busy your schedule is or how far away you are, when it comes to reunion dinners, both young and old will always makes time for family on this special occasion to usher in the Lunar New Year.
As Asians, my mum would often make a fuss about having our meals together. Besides waiting us to tuck in once she dishes out the food from the kitchen so that we can eat them while it’s hot from the pot, it’s also her way of rounding up the family so that we can share about our day with each other. But as we got older, meals together as family got less frequent everyone got busy with work, friends and basically life just took over.
When we started our family, I always envision us eating at the dining table as a family. It started off well when Sophie had her own high chair and she’ll learn to eat different kinds of food exposed to her. Thankfully, despite being a noob cook, my dear family was patient not to fire me from the kitchen even though I’ve whipped up dishes that will never make it to the kitchen table again.
But over time, the dining table became cluttered with stuff, which I’m guilty of, and we settled for our meals at the coffee table in front of the TV and traded our precious family time for TV time.
Now that my mum cooks on weekdays at my place, we’ve resumed our meals at the dining table and I hope it’s here to stay. More than just a meal with the family, it’s a time when mobile devices are barred and banned and everyone comes together to say grace and feed our bodies and soul at the same time.
Sophie recognises that everyone plays a part and she’s been in charge of wiping and setting the table for dinner. Sharing a meal is the perfect setting to talk about our day where we catch up on how each other’s day went, share our opinions about things around us and make exciting plans for the weekends among other things.
Unknowingly, they can also be valuable time where when we get to impart important lessons to Sophie when she opens up and tells us about incidents that happened in school like a friend who keeps disturbing her or what she should do if a friend doesn’t want to talk to her. As we gave her our suggestions, she’s learning about how to turn to adults for advice, hearing different views and opinions for her to make better choices on her own.
Not surprising, there has been studies on how eating together as a family has multiple benefits from here, here and here. But you and I know that we could all do with more meal time as a family. So let’s not wait till it’s Chinese New Year before we sit together as a family to share a meal.
I love how the Meal Time Movement sums it all up.
The most important thing isn’t what’s on the table. Or even being around a table at all.
Mealtime means taking a moment to enjoy food with humans you care about. And it makes a big difference in how we live and grow.
Meals feed the body. Mealtime feeds the relationship.
Enjoying conversations over food helps form connections, one bite at a time.
A family that eats together, stays together. So beyond the Lunar New Year, let’s make time to always have meals with the ones who matter to us!
This post was inspired by the Real Love Never Stops campaign by AIA Singapore. You can catch the video here. #CelebrateRealMoments #RealLoveNeverStops
Here’s wishing you and your family a very Blessed Lunar New Year too!