What does that mean, to match your plate with your heart? As you sit down to lunch or dinner do you ever stop to think about what is on your plate, who prepared it, or how it ended up as food? I think I can say with confidence, very few people have this reflection before diving into dinner. Take family dinner, for example, it is usually a busy time of the day as parents or caregivers are rushing to get the kids in their seats and mentally unload their day onto their spouse. Of course every family is unique and for some this time of day might only include siblings as their parent, parents, or caregiver are at work or school. At my house, this time of day is pure chaos. Almost like clockwork, my husband walks in the doors, taking his shoes off and dropping his briefcase, only to announce he has had a long day and needs to shower. Right now. He ushers our oldest into the kitchen and leaves me with the boiling pot of whatever on the stove, my one year old “organizing” my tupperware, and now my toddler who needs to use the potty. Right now.
So, you get the picture, chaos, kids, husband...oh yeah and food. The whole reason we are rushing around at this time, food. It is dinnertime and in an ideal world we would all be seated in front of a picturesque table with both kids sitting well with their hands in their laps while looking at the bowl of peas with glee. Family dinners are so important, however you manage to have them and whether they are at a table or standing at the kitchen counter, they are happening everywhere. Returning to that boiling pot of whatever, for so many families adding food prep to the list of chaos that happens around this time of day is one addition too much. But should it be at the top of the list?
Encouraging your family, friends, loved ones, colleagues, etc. to eat healthy foods is a way of saying I love you, but with food! As we sit around the dinner table or gather on the couch, the food we are eating and providing should nurture our bodies the way being around one another does, we should want to provide food that is healthy for us, not increasing our chances of heart disease or diabetes.