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...and the other elements of the Mediterranean Diet






On my last post, I promised a bit more about other aspects of the Mediterranean Diet, which we believe are very important to setting healthy eating habits. We grew up on it and can tell you a bit more about what it means to us.

Though the thought of spending long hours around a table may sound like the ultimate bore for little ones, we both have heart-filled memories of it. Obviously children are usually allowed to leave the table once the main course is over but the excitement always started with the never-to-be-missed "aperitif", bringing galore of olives, lupins, roasted peppers, tapenade crostini, fresh tomato&shallots mini bruschetta, etc... This always made a great intro to lunch and that is when we were allowed juice which was a total treat... Here is a first point: we only drank water at the table with our meals, and only water. Never juice or anything else! Coming to think of it, it is water only during mealtime (always.  Like every day, every meal, no alternative!).... until you are about 18 and then you may switch to wine!
Anyway then it was time for lunch with all of us around a table sharing homemade food from starter and main course to cheese and desert...until it was time for the grown-ups to start arguing about politics or other matters...think that was the wine talking!

All that to say that eating together is the foundation of the cultural identity and continuity of communities throughout the Mediterranean basin. It is a moment of social exchange and communication, an affirmation and renewal of family, group or community identity. The Mediterranean diet brings people, friends and family together. If the example above was more like a weekly ritual (mainly on Sundays, when you had guests around or were invited at their place), every day the family would get together for at least dinner. It makes the experience of eating a lot more enjoyable... It automatically makes it less about what you have in your plate and more about who you are sharing it with!

And if nowadays, it may be difficult to offer this daily ritual to our little ones, we should always make the effort to sit and eat with them around a table when they eat (if only a small portion if we plan for a proper dinner later on). Sit, eat, talk, exchange and above all watch and listen! It may represent a bit more of an effort when they are very little (and I can vouch for this as I've sat with my little girl since she started on solid, and until she could talk I have had some pretty boring moments!) but you will reap the rewards in no time.  

Mealtimes are such a great opportunity for you and your baby and young child to spend time together. Eating as a family helps to introduce them to lots of different healthy foods, as your food choices will naturally be wider than theirs. Eating together lets your little ones see you and other family members enjoying food, and maybe chatting about what they all like to eatBest of all, your little ones will experience the pleasure of mealtimes. This will help to set a healthy-eating habit that could last her a lifetime. Because let's face it, who likes eating alone!

Created On  17 Mar 2017 9:39  -  Permalink

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