Submitted by Carma Sutherland
We enjoy preserving family traditions which have been passed down through generations. There are two family traditions which are related to our discussions on diet and nutrition. The tradition of theAfamily meal@ is disappearing. Attempts to preserve this family time together are fragmented by crowded time schedules. Even young children have their own schedules filled with various lessons and primary activities. Schedules for arrival at school and work vary. Having breakfast together seems like an impossibility. Food writer and dietitian Marsha Hudnall says that food is symbolically associated with the most deeply felt human emotions and experiences. Most individuals do better emotionally if they are able to share at least one mealtime a day with someone else. There is less emotional isolation. Microwave preparations, taking food to bedrooms or in front of a TV all encourage us to eat as desired, fix our own, and miss the interaction of sharing mealtime. The tradition could be revived by insisting that at least one meal a day be eaten with a companion or family members.
A second tradition, that of theAclean plate,@ is no longer helpful to us. Children are taught that if they want dessert or a second helping, or to be able to leave the table to play, they must leave the plate empty. It is time to unlearn the clean plate lesson. Our chances of being overweight are far higher than to be underfed. We can train ourselves to take smaller servings, not waste food and to know we are full when our stomachs are still comfortable and not when our plates are empty. We will learn to be satisfied with smaller amounts of food. Controlling the amount of food eaten can be an individual goal. Divide the appropriate daily calories into three low-fat meals with midmorning and midafternoon snacks of 50 to 150 calories each. High quality food in smaller amounts will be more satisfying than snacking on high calorie, high-fat foods.
Faculty/Staff Bulletin--September 18, 1997