by Wes Fessler
Have you ever been able to get everyone in your family to actually enjoy a meal at the same time? It seems that a majority of the time in my family there is at least one person who wrinkles their nose in disgust at whatever I make. Admittedly, I am not a gourmet chef, but neither do I consider my food to be worthy of the shuddering looks and gasps of dismay it commonly receives from a woeful minority.
How rare and how sweet are the occasions when the whole family sits together and as a whole enjoys the meal before them. Most of the time life is too busy to accommodate everyone’s individual taste, but once in a while it is a pleasure to all to enjoy a Favorite Food Day.
What is Favorite Food Day?
Favorite Food Day is a day when every meal has something for the whole family to enjoy. To some this may sound too good to be true, but it is not as difficult as it may seem. To a large extent families are forced to eat foods on a daily basis that are merely tolerated in an effort to accommodate life's busy agenda.
For many there is not enough time to prepare meals that everyone will enjoy when work, school, and extraneous tasks place demands on attention and time. The sad truth is that many families have little choice but to reach for the staple foods that get simply get them out the door on time. For this reason, Favorite Food Days are to be enjoyed on days when the family can relax and take time for meals. Weekends are an ideal time for many families with a brief respite from work and school.
The Truth About Food
The saying goes, "Food is the way to a man's heart." This is only partly true. Food is the way to everyone's heart. The point of Favorite Food Day is to enjoy a day when food makes everyone happy. There are to be no repulsed expressions, complaints, or plates scraped into trash cans on this day.
Favorite Food Day is a day when the whole family returns in some small way to the days of infancy when food was wonderful! Even with the more developed tastes that come with age, there is something that everyone enjoys. The aim of Favorite Food Day is to supply the foods that leave everyone smiling, and too satisfied to complain.
Let Everyone Know it's Favorite Food Day
Although your natural inclination may be to surprise your family with this special day, it can be more helpful to tell them about it before the fun begins. By telling them that you intend to have a Favorite Food Day, you give them an opportunity to be excited about the meals you will prepare. This significantly decreases the possibility that someone will approach the table with a negative attitude about the meals of the day. Informing them of your intentions for a Favorite Food Day will give them a reason to be excited about the food for the day, and place them in a mindset of something pleasant to come.
How Do You Make The Whole Family Happy?
Obviously the goal of Favorite Food Day is to please the entire family with the meals of the day. How this is to be accomplished will vary depending on many things (cooking ability, preferences of the family, attitudes, etc.) but here are a few suggestions that can help just about any family:
- Keep notes on your family's favorite foods. On normal days, make a note of the meals that your family especially enjoys. Also make a note of who specifically doesn't like the meal. Once in a while you will find something that everyone likes. Be sure to remember those meals, because for many they are few and far between. These are the meals to have on Favorite Food Day.
- Have alternative meals for the finicky. If you can't find a meal that satisfies everyone, prepare a second meal especially to satisfy those who you know won't like the main meal. Sure, it is more work, but it is a special occasion and the idea is to please everyone.
- Include treats! In addition to the main meal, have a selection of special treats with some variety that you know your family likes. The treats don't have to be fattening. Be creative and be sure to provide something that everyone can enjoy.
- Take everyone out for a meal. Take the family out for one of the meals. Sometimes it can add to the pleasure of Favorite Food Day to take the family out to eat and it can alleviate some of the effort and mess of cooking at home. Try to find a place that everyone likes.
- Get some help. Get the family involved in preparation and clean up. Don't make one person do all of the cooking and all of the clean up. The idea is for everyone to enjoy Favorite Food Day and leave no room for complaint. Share the tasks and the rewards of the good food.
- Don't overdo it! Make Favorite Food Day a once in a while treat. This is a day that the whole family should look forward to and be excited about. If this occasion becomes too repetitive it may not be appreciated as much, and could lead to poor eating habits. The idea is for Favorite Food Day to bring happiness not extra weight.
- Do it together. Share each meal together as a family. Make the meals a time for talking together and enjoying one another's company. Turn off the TV for a while if you need to and avoid anything that may detract from the quality of your family time. Make each meal a pleasant family experience.
It is a rewarding feeling to see that everyone at the table is pleased with their food. To carry this feeling through the meals of an entire day is another experience altogether. Favorite Food Day is a day when families look forward to mealtimes with great anticipation and without complaint. It is a special occasion that the whole family can enjoy and participate in together.
Wes and Carrie Fessler are firm believers in the institution of family. As parents of three, they noted the large number of forces -- multiple televisions, computers, text messaging, video games -- that are more about the individual. With so much pulling the family unit to separate corners, the Fesslers were moved to do their part to shift the focus back to the family unit. Together they launched the Family Fun Shop, a site chocked full of resources to fulfill that goal. You'll find loads of family articles, indoor and outdoor fun, family quotes and resources, along with unique, quality products -- all geared towards family fun! Additionally, Wes is a published author, with a collection of short stories, two novels (Dead Wrong and Awakeners), and his first venture of poetry, Spiritual Thoughts.
Copyright © Wes Fessley. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.