Eating and preparing food with family helps foster communication and teamwork, writes Youth Speak News' Alessia Loduca Photo/Pexels

Speaking Out: Food and family go together

By  Alessia Loduca, Youth Speak News
  • July 14, 2017

Despite our busy and often conflicting schedules, my parents, brother and I try to eat at least one meal a day together. During this time, we share stories, make jokes and catch up on each other’s lives.

It is a part of my day that I deeply value because it allows me to connect with my loved ones in a meaningful way over something we all love — delicious food.

Not only do we share the actual eating of meals with one another, but we also all contribute in some way to the food preparation, setting up of the table and clean-up so that the whole experience is a collaborative effort that fosters communication and teamwork.

In fact, recent data from the Journal of Marriage and Family suggests that the act of preparing and eating meals together are integral ways for people to strengthen bonds and form lasting relationships. There seems to be a correlation between increased family mealtime and positive socialization.

However, a Vanier Institute of the Family study says that communal food preparation and family meal times are slowly dying. Since 2010, fewer and fewer Canadian families cook and eat meals together.

But I think if we turn to social media, we see a very different story. Cooking and baking still seem to be very important parts of how we relate to others, as they act as intergenerational ventures that bring all family members together regardless of age or ability.

Let’s do an experiment. Scroll through your Facebook feed and see how long it takes for a food video from Delish, Tastemade or another website to pop up on your screen. If your Facebook looks anything like mine, this should not have taken long.

From how to make simple yet scrumptious after-school snacks with kid-friendly videos on Tasty Junior’s Facebook page to the creation of more elaborate meals on pages like Proper Tasty, bite-sized food videos are making the worlds of cooking and baking realistic pursuits for both children and adults.

Ultimately, the aim of these videos is to inspire a passion for cooking and baking by illustrating how easy — and delicious — the tasks can be. Whether you’re a professional foodie or a student struggling to make quick and tasty meals, food videos bring people together through the love of food.

With the increased interest in food videos, I am optimistic that more young people will become engaged in the arts of cooking and baking and will share these interests with loved ones.

As I head off to tackle my latest food video find, Delish’s mouth-watering cannoli dip, with my family, I also challenge you to step beyond the screen and try to make one of the meals you see in a captivating food video. Share the experience with family and friends so that your enjoyment of these tasty treats isn’t solely cyber.

(Loduca, 20, is a third-year education student with a major/minor in English and French at York University in Toronto.)

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