Sunday, March 31, 2013

The power of "breaking bread"

It’s Easter weekend.  I wondered by the extra high volume of “traffic” in the grocery store on Thursday, in advance of Good Friday’s closure, how many meals will be shared.

There are many foods related to Easter.  Ancient Greeks marked cakes with the symbol of a cross, and the hot cross bun (a bread with spices, raisins and currants) has become a traditional Easter treat. Hung in the kitchen, hot cross buns were said to prevent fire and a new bun was hung each spring.  If taken on a shipwreck, hot cross buns were believed to prevent ship wreck. Some believed that sharing these buns gave healing to those who were ill.
Traditions surrounding food continues to be part of our lives as we have “special foods”, but are they only for special occasions?
How timely that a newly published study in the Journal of Adolescent Health reports that teenagers who have family meals (regardless of the actual expense of the meal) are more trusting and generally more emotionally stable compared to those who don't share family meals. The lead author of the study McGill Professor Frank Elgar states that “More frequent family dinners related to fewer emotional and behavioural problems, greater emotional well-being, more trusting and helpful behaviours towards others and higher life satisfaction."  In fact, our children don’t even need to engage in dinner conversation, they just need to be there.
Customs practiced over centuries may have held true wisdom.  In our fast paced technologically developed world, providing our children with the latest and greatest computers, video games or cell phones is not the answer. Easter reminds us that nothing impacts our children greater than spending time with them in the simple act of “breaking bread” as a family. 
Let’s celebrate Easter and this special occasion with special foods, but remember to give thanks for the ability to share the power of our daily bread. 

No comments:

Post a Comment