When I was growing up, we never ate dinner in the dining room. I would always watch those perfect families on TV eating their delicious dinners and having their interesting conversations in the dining room, and wondered why we never had that. Instead, we dined at a table in the family room where our main focus was watching whatever was on TV at the time. I’m not sure I ever really paid attention to exactly what I was eating and how much I was actually consuming. I was more focused on scarfing down my meal and watching the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon!
When my husband and I started living together, guess what? We ate our meals in front of the TV! We owned a dining room table, yet still managed to prop ourselves on the couch and eat our meals at the coffee table. It never dawned on us until recently (a few weeks ago!) that what we were doing was so ridiculous. Although we grew up watching TV during dinner, it didn’t mean that we had to continue doing the same. Since I’ve recently started cooking a lot more, we’ve decided that we have a dining room table for a reason, so we should use it!
Now that we’re eating our meals (mostly dinner) at the dining room table, we’re able to have more conversations about our day and really enjoy the food we’re eating. We are also paying attention to how much we’re eating, too! It’s a really nice thing to not have to compete with the TV anymore, and it’s actually been an easy transition for us. I hope we can keep this up when we eventually start our own family together.
In today’s world, we not only have the TV, but computers, cell phones, and all sorts of gadgets that distract us from reality. It’s so easy to get caught up in email, phone calls, TV shows, and even Twitter. However, it’s really important that we take time to unplug and enjoy the people around us, especially at mealtime.
Tips for Dining Unplugged
- Don’t own dining room table? If you eat in the kitchen or at the coffee table, just simply make sure the TV is off while you’re eating.
- Do you have too many TV’s in the house? Make at least one main room TV-free and eat your meals there.
- Not ready to go cold turkey? Start with one meal a day and go from there.
- Hesitant family? DVR the shows they will miss during the meal and watch them later (and then fast-forward through the commercials. It’s a win-win situation!)
- Don’t just turn off the TV- put down your cell phone, computer, or anything that distracts you from enjoying your meal!
Have you ever thought about dining unplugged? What made you do it or what has prevented you from following through?