The Family Meal

Thoughts on Mealtime

Mealtime is a welcome time of day in our family, a time to reconnect and nourish after work and daily adventures. We try to create a pause and share gratitude for our yummy food, the earth and the farmers whose hands brought it to us. This pause also offers a grounding moment to relax into being together as a family, gratitude is a great way to simply connect heart to heart. Sometimes the hardest part of the day is right before dinner as energy drops and attention is shared between cooking and children. I've discovered a few ways that we can shift the mood from coming apart at the seams to coming together.

  • Include your children in meal preparations. If you have a058ced7d6fa361394aa896560ba50471n herb garden, ask them to pick a few herbs for you to use in the dinner or in tea. Take out the gadgets like the nut chopper, the beaters and the salt grinder. Children love those human-powered tools. Set up a prep station with a child sized safe knife and cutting board. For Small Hands is a great resource for child-sized tools.
  • Let the children set the table. Create a basket of table linens, candles and simple seasonal decor and see what magic unfolds. Keep your silverware in a reachable drawer (if your children are old enough, of course) so they can set it at each place.
  • OK, I'm keeping it real here; bath before dinner for older children. Sometimes my five and a half year old is like a hot kernel of popcorn and we have found that twenty minutes in the tub while I'm making dinner is sometimes just the remedy for everyone.
  • Brew some herbal tea or make some herb water. Let your child be the herbalist and fill the tea basket or water pitcher with whatever he likes from mother nature. You might find a new favorite blend.



A few simple blessings:

  • Blessings on the blossom, blessings on the root, blessings on the leaves and stems, blessings on the fruit.
  • Give thanks to the mother Gaia, give thanks to the father Sun, give thanks to the veggies in the garden where the mother and the father are one.
  • Thank you for the world so sweet, thank you for the food we eat, thank you for the birds that sing, thank you earth for everything.
  • Bless the growing of the grain, bless the falling of the rain, bless the flower and fruit and tree, and bless the sun that shines upon me.

Do you have a special blessing at meal time?

Please feel welcome to share in the comments below.

Each year I come back to this poem by Joy Harjo and relish how she paints a picture of the most treasured moments of life unfolding before our eyes at our kitchen table. It is the simple moments of every day life that create our family culture and legacy. Our Heart of the Home course will support you on this magical journey of nurturing your home and hearth. Click the image below to learn more and sign up for only $20 per month.



Perhaps The World Ends Here by Joy Harjo

Artwork by Phoebe Wahl copyright 2015

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

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