It feels a little bit like we're at the end of an era.
Long gone is the golden age where families used to sit around the dining table every evening to discuss the trivialities of their day and share tidbits of news over a shared meal. Now technology is king, with many households opting to eat meals in front of the TV so as not to miss their favourite prime-time programs. Some clever multi-taskers (aka Generation Y and Z) are able to balance their plate precariously on their knees while watching TV and simultaneously taking snaps of their food to upload to Instagram. This is a skill our grandparents knew not of.
This shift in acceptable mealtime etiquette made us at Lorraine Lea wonder, is it time we made an effort to switch off from technology, even just briefly, so we can eat and converse with each other before once again taking up our positions in front of the TV?
Recent findings by Freedom Foods suggest 36% of Australians eat most of their meals on the couch, with half of all 20 - 34 year olds opting to face the TV instead of their dinner companions.
So what does that mean for us? From a health standpoint, it means we are mindlessly shoveling more food into our mouths than our bodies need and are more likely to eat poorer quality foods that are easier to eat away from the table and without a knife and fork. We're also losing that valuable face-to-face time with family that previous generations enjoyed.
This trend could easily be a side effect of time-poor professionals and parents who are juggling work and domestic commitments, or the trend towards smaller inner-city living spaces that don't allow the luxury of a dining table.
Whatever the reason is in your household, maybe this post will encourage you to put down the iPad, smartphone or gaming gadget, reconnect with family and try to remember who's turn it is to set the dining table...
Now be honest, are you guilty of eating dinner on the couch more often than not?