Five ways food brings us together

Family2 min read

The power of food

Sharing food with others brings a wealth of benefits. These moments help us make friends, find love and end hostility.

Breaking bread together is a way to remove barriers and helps us explore new cultures and build stronger relationships when we socialise. The Mediterranean lifestyle, for example, focuses on sharing meals with the people you love, whether it’s just to catch-up over a simple dinner or partaking in a massive celebration. It’s believed to lead to a much happier, healthier life.

Food brings us together and your family can benefit in several ways.

1. Loving the history

The traditional Mediterranean diet follows the eating habits from Crete and Southern Italy in the 1960s and the lifestyle emphasises the values of hospitality, neighbourliness and a respect for diversity. It brings people of all ages, conditions and social classes together, aiming not only to eat but to share knowledge, culture and mutual respect. This is a chance to have your elders pass on their stories to your children, and for your family to meet people outside the nucleus, such as friends and neighbours.

2. Staying connected

Talking about the day is a perfect way to stay connected with members of your family. A sit-down dinner allows you to chat and find out what’s going on in each person’s life. This connectedness is good for wellbeing, with a study showing a link between the frequency of family meals and children’s nutritional health. It also shows that children who participate in family meals are less likely to be overweight – so encourage one and all in the family to come to the table for dinner!

3. Learning about food

Having the kids, or grandparents, help prepare dinner is a great way to share information about how we make healthy food for the whole family. Even the youngest child can fetch from the pantry or stir ingredients in a bowl, while grandma can offer cooking tips and tricks. It’s a great way to bring people together and improve other family members’ diets by influencing what they eat. It’s also a good way to pass down treasured heirloom recipes to the next generation.

4. Sharing culture

One of the great advantages of a big celebration-type meal is that it’s a simple way to introduce your loved ones to new dishes from different cultures. Whenever you’re hosting a party, encourage your guests to bring a traditional dish – one that means something to them. Having grandma bring her favourite childhood dessert, or asking your Italian neighbours to cook a pizza, is an excellent way to introduce each other to new cultures through food and to open their eyes to new horizons.

5. Live longer together

Studies prove that the Mediterranean lifestyle is linked to longer lifespans and an important aspect of this is the strong connections people living in these communities have with each other. Staying healthy is great, but having social support is important for enjoying life. The older members of your family will benefit greatly if you regularly invite them round to share a meal.

Food is key to happiness and helps build a happier life, so invite more people round to share your mealtimes and the joy.


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