IN PRIM­I­TIVE TIMES, FOOD AC­QUI­SI­TION WAS A GROUP EF­FORT AND FOOD WAS SHARED AMONGST THE VIL­LAGE. THERE’S SOME­THING SPE­CIAL ABOUT SHAR­ING FOOD WITH OTH­ERS - IT’S VERY BOND­ING AND EVEN ED­U­CA­TIONAL, TEACH­ING CHIL­DREN ABOUT CO­OP­ER­A­TION AND FAIR­NESS.

Haven Magazine - - Front Page - Visit www.well­nour­ished.com.au

An in­ter­est­ing study of 466 Bel­gian stu­dents found that those who had shared meals more fre­quently in child­hood scored bet­ter for al­tru­is­tic be­hav­iours, par­tic­u­larly giv­ing di­rec­tions trans­porta­tion, help­ing their friends move and vol­un­teer­ing. These are all won­der­ful traits to in­still in your kids at an early age. I be­lieve our Western in­di­vid­u­alised so­ci­eties ever, es­pe­cially as most foods are tar­geted to ‘in­di­vid­ual por­tions’. In many parts of the world, shar­ing food with fam­ily and friends is a way of life and these cul­tures are known to have very pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships with food (less is­sues with food fussi­ness and even eat­ing dis­or­ders). is served on the table and every­one helps them­selves are a great place to start. But shar­ing food, es­pe­cially in peer groups is also re­ally ex­cit­ing and a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for kids. So next time you’re asked to ‘bring a plate’ per­haps con­sider the value of such a sim­ple con­cept and in­stead of grab­bing a pack of bis­cuits or chips on the way to school or the event (as tempt­ing as that is), con­sider us­ing the oc­ca­sion as an op­por­tu­nity to in­volve your kids in the mak­ing and tak­ing. Through this month's ar­ti­cle, I thought I’d share a few ideas for when you’re next asked to bring a plate. Re­mem­ber to make sure you get the kids to help - they al­ways love tak­ing some­thing they’ve made or con­trib­uted to.

BRING A PLATE IDEAS 1. 5.

Make a dip. There are so many quick and easy to make dips. Serve with veg­etable sticks and crack­ers. Even if your kids don’t make the dip, get them to ar­range it all on a plate. Bake some­thing. What kid doesn’t like bak­ing and eat­ing the re­sult (and lick­ing the bowl of course!) Make meat­balls or sausage rolls. Hot or cold they are al­ways a hit with a crowd. Fruit plat­ters and fruit ke­babs. Easy done. Make sushi rolls or rice pa­per rolls. From a very young age, chil­dren love to play food games - they make mud pies, have tea par­ties and mimic the rit­u­als of adults. Our role as par­ents is to en­sure that a love of real food, and shar­ing and cel­e­brat­ing with food, is nur­tured and sup­ported. The fond­est mem­o­ries are made when gath­ered around the table.

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