The holiday season offers ample opportunities to gather together the family, to celebrate the many bonds that hold us together and make us stronger, and to reflect on all indeed for which we give thanks.
In fact, though, each and every family meal provides that same opportunity. Sadly, for the average American family, these meals are becoming less and less common. Consider a few statistics: according to a 2014 survey conducted by the NY Daily News, the average American watches five hours of television per day. Mind you, that’s the average, meaning many are spending even more time, up to a fourth of the day, watching TV. The average meal, however, lasts much less than an hour.
Do the math, and it’s clear to see that, in many U.S. households, people spend more time watching TV each day than they do eating as a family each week. And that is wildly depressing, as is the reported 59% of American adults who say they have fewer dinners as a family these days than they recall sharing when they were the youngsters.
The family dinner table is supposed to be the place for reconnecting, for laughing, for venting, for listening, and of course for eating home-cooked food (which is usually much healthier than options available even at the finest upscale restaurants, largely because the sodium and fat content of home-cooked meals is dramatically lower). What’s to be done, then, about the trend toward fewer family meals?
Ms. Laessig, AKA the Family Foodie when she blogs, a mother of four and diehard devotee of dining together, is committed to inspiring a shift back to family-centric meals. To help other families enjoy the same closeness and grounding that family meals always brought to her home, she launched the Sunday Supper Movement back in 2012. Gathered around the “virtual table” were not just Laessig’s own family, but rather a community of like-minded bloggers, soon to be known as the Sunday Supper Movement Community.
“Think about it, what does Sunday Supper mean to you? Does it bring back memories of your childhood? Does it make you remember your Nonnie, Vo-Vo, G’mom or Mom-Mom? Does it bring back memories of your favorite meal? Is it Meatballs, Macaroni and Gravy or Pasta and Sauce? Maybe it is a Pot or Pork Roast? When you think back to your childhood, where do you remember your family gathering? I often wonder if Sunday Supper is more about the food, or the memories that are made. These special memories involving family meals last a lifetime, and the only ingredient required is love!” Isabel Laessig
When a concept is as elegantly simple as the one behind the Sunday Supper Movement gets the support of dozens of bloggers boasting deep social media influence, it takes off. Soon there were well over two million people following the Sunday Supper Movement each week, and we can only hope that one of the ways they stayed involved was to actually use some of the recipes, prep advice, and food shopping tips shared among the group to prepare family meals!
When something that we here at Zaycon Foods identify with at such a visceral level comes along – and the Sunday Supper Movement is nothing if not that! – we can’t wait to share it with everyone in our community. We know how busy life gets, how many distractions there are (hey TV and iPhones are great… until they’re in control of the day!), but we also know that family is the most important thing of all. And what brings family together better than great food? So let’s all join the movement and say we’re going to eat together more often. After all, eating together doesn’t mean sitting there chewing; it means laughing, talking, listening. It means connecting.