Carrot Soup for Two – a Breakfast Date with my 7 year old

Yesterday morning I decided to have a completely different approach to breakfast. I decided to have a breakfast date with my 7 year old daughter.

This decision stemmed from me asking myself the following questions…

1. “Why can’t the care and enjoyment of a meal always be like a date?”. We seem to put that extra effort and care in when we prepare for a date, or are out on a date, from the food prep, setting the table, our dress etc. I find that the meal and company feels special because of this care and effort.

2. “Why can’t we have that level of presence and care with every meal, with those in our family who we eat with everyday?”.  I live with my seven-year-old daughter… so for me the question was “Why can’t every meal feel like a date (fun, playful, light and enjoyable)?”. Why can’t it have the care and dedication towards its preparation, the setting up of the table, eating of the meal and complete focus on each other during meaningful conversation without allowing any distractions to interfere?

Breakfast for us is usually a sit down time together where I usually leave early to wash the dishes. It’s a relatively healthy meal that I take time to prepare and it is a time for us to chat, so it ticks boxes… but there is still a chore element to it. Like it is one chore of the day… a moment that we sit and eat but when that is done, then we get on with all the other things we have to do for the day. Sometimes there is a bit of a task feeling, a need to complete, a doing focus / feeling or a bit of a push behind it.

So yesterday, I decided that I was going to have a breakfast date with my daughter and let her feel how special it was. I decided to make something that she said she liked – but I had not yet made it for her. That something was carrot soup. Whenever I have given her any type of soup, she eats them, some with complaints and others without. Some she enjoyed and others she tolerated and some she did not like at all – at least she always tried them – but she would often say “I like carrot soup!”. Never having made carrot soup, I embarked on making it especially for her, for our breakfast date – very simply, with carrots, garlic, tomatoes, water and a little salt. I accompanied the soup with some lovely stir-fried green vegies on a delicate side plate.

The food looked and smelled great – the bench where we ate felt amazing because of the care that I took. We enjoyed our meal and there was not one ounce of pressure or push or chore feeling to it but pure delight… and the actual meal itself got a two thumbs up from my daughter, which was great… an added bonus because I knew that the whole breakfast date experience was amazing because it felt amazing making it – or should I say I felt amazing making it!

By Johanna Smith, Perth

293 thoughts on “Carrot Soup for Two – a Breakfast Date with my 7 year old

  1. So gorgeous to share – and it does highlight how we don’t pay enough love and attention to things. Reading this shows how we can work together to deepen each moment.

  2. “Why can’t the care and enjoyment of a meal always be like a date?” I agree Johanna if we but made this a normal meal time experience, even if dining on our own, the quality in how we prepare and eat our food would be super nourishing to our bodies.

  3. Reading this I realise that, especially the meals I have been having on my own, have not felt very special. Time to start refreshing my relationship with myself around meal time.

  4. ‘We are what we eat’ according to a popular adage, but I would say it is far more accurate to say that ‘we eat what we are’ as in – the quality of energy in which we prepare the meal will be the quality of energy we ingest as we eat it.

  5. “Why can’t every meal feel like a date (fun, playful, light and enjoyable)?” Love this question, as it so often happens that meal times become chores, all the preparation beforehand and the clearing up afterwards. But as we have to eat, might as well make the whole experience pleasurable for everyone. And maybe the food tastes nicer too!

  6. Reading this blog made me realise just how much I am thinking ahead to the next thing when I am eating a meal, instead of just feeling and being there with the people I am eating with, even if it is just myself. What a great opportunity to check in with our bodies and learn something about ourselves.

    1. I can relate Michael, as I have found myself while eating dinner, thinking about what I still have to do after dinner and before going to bed and then finding myself eating a tad too quickly in order to get finished. I hate to do that now, and have much more focus on how I am eating and how my food tastes. And mostly, my food tastes delicious.

    2. This is a little trick of the human spirit that lives within us all – to not allow the mind to be in tune with what the body is doing and thus by always thinking of the next thing or even by ruminating on a past occurrence, it maintains control of the human body so our true self – our Soul, cannot enter.

  7. Amazing Johanna, every meal can be of a quality that is very caring and loving. Actually I would say it should be because what are we otherwise putting in our mouths and in what quality?

  8. It is definitely noticeable that the quality of a meal is a reflection of the quality in which it is prepared.

  9. Why do we reserve our love for special events when we can enjoy every moment? It’s like we are controlled by this idea that there just isn’t time – but there is always space for joy – that’s all there is.

    1. ‘Why do we reserve our love for special events when we can enjoy every moment?’ Great question, which asks us to be present in our bodies throughout our day to day activities, and when we are, there is always a flow, and in the flow the joy can be felt.

  10. What a very precious moment in time for both of you, a moment which I am sure your daughter will not forget in a hurry. Taking the time to stop and be totally present with our children is a gift that ought not to be considered special, but simply very ordinary, an everyday event.

  11. We can fall into habits with family where we do not take the care we could or be as present as we could. But exactly why aren’t we? Life is one, and separating it does not make sense.

  12. What you bring beautifully to the fore here is that life is not about getting things done, whatever they might be, but about the relationships we have with ourselves and others.

  13. Meal times are a coming together of the family and an opportunity to reflect on the day. I love sharing meal times especially in the evenings as it feels like a completion to the day, but I like your idea of making breakfast equally as enjoyable and what a wonderful way to begin the day.

  14. Yes indeed Johanna, every meal can be made into a date, it is just a matter of commitment, giving my self in full with my love and care in every action I bring to such a meal. Candles are therefore lid every meal:-)

  15. Beautiful to read you had such a close moment together.
    Also I find carrots are a very sweet vegetable and most children love to go for the sweetness as a way to give themselves the sweetness have forget to give to themselves. As parents we have the biggest present to give to our children; to show them how we love ourselves.

  16. When we prepare whatever we are to do with love it lays the foundations for it to be both a nurturing and joyful experience.

  17. It is the quality in which we do things that makes the world of difference. And the quality in which we do something on one moment, effects the next moment and so on and so on. And the question that we need to ask ourselves is in which quality are we in for our moments and what effect are they having on our next?

  18. I love your questions and they are inspiring me to look into the inconsistency in the level of care I put into – e.g. making some things more important/special than others, somewhat allowing myself to switch off at times as if it does not deserve my full attention, and how I might express myself or behave differently depending on who with. Rather unpleasant actually.

  19. This is a very sweet blog Johanna, reminding us that there is joy to be found in all aspects of life if we are prepared to fully commit ourselves to whatever we are doing whether it be preparing a space for a meal, preparing the meal itself or going for a walk; or, if we choose otherwise, we can make everything a chore.

  20. Two great questions to ask, why don’t we apply the same quality into everything we do, not just our meals? There is much to ponder on, reflect on and ultimately let go of, to allow ourselves to do just this. It is so worth it though, there is way less tension in our bodies when we approach life with a quality and care, as our bodies get to live how they want to live, with tenderness, grace and in a harmonious flow.

  21. Love this Johanna – such a sweetness in what you share. My daughters are all grown up now, but occasionally we have dinner dates where we cook and set up the table with flowers and candles. This comes with a different feel to our usual cooking, setting the table and then all sitting and chatting about our days and the situations we have read. When we dress the table and have a dinner date, the quality is more intimate.

  22. This is great Johanna – and you’re highlighting one of the key things we need to look at about what makes life mundane and a bit of a humbug… making things a chore. It is possible to have every meal that we make special, a celebration of us coming together. And this can then extend to everything else we do in the day – to putting the bins out, hanging out the laundry, getting ready for work, etc etc etc. When we make things a chore, we do this because we have left ourselves out of it – and hence, we get drained. But when we do things with us in them, there is a joy and spunk to whatever it is we do – because it’s not what we are doing that matters, but that we are feeling us, our essence, in whatever it is we do. And that… is amazing.

  23. Interestingly enough we indeed pay much attention to our ‘date’ when it is an planned one, but what if we put the same amount of detail to meeting everyone; on the street, at work or in the lobby.. How would our world look? How would we be? And how much more togetherness will this bring to our table? To our society, our families, our neighborhood, our communities, our country — our world? How big is your effect that you have on people? How much could we use this of true good? Ponder on this truly and this will grow us more than we can think of.

  24. Thank you Johanna for this beautiful reminder that every moment we have can be lived with intimacy, cuteness and much appreciation. Why wait for an evening you declare to be special when you can live this way every day? It’s easy to get caught into the humdrum averageness of what we call life, but it’s just not true, not right. If we change our movements the depth will be there for us to adore, court and cherish ourselves.

  25. Really lovely to set the table and make a playful date with your daughter, I have also found that even when we eat alone, it is important to lay the table and lovingly prepare a meal, as we allow ourselves that deeper love, that we deserve all of the time.

  26. Lovely Johanna , is it not amazing how simple things can be when one supplies the missing elements.
    ” was amazing because it felt amazing making it – or should I say I felt amazing making it! “

  27. What a delightful moment in time and a very precious one indeed. It certainly is a reminder that when we eat we have the opportunity to nourish our body, so taking the time to lovingly prepare the food, and allow our self the space to eat in a honouring way is offering due respect to the wonderful vehicle that supports us day in day out. Tonight I am sharing a meal with one of my grandchildren so I will definitely be taking the message from your beautiful sharing with me to the table.

  28. What great question Johanna. Why do we reserve bringing our love, our all, to only ‘special’ occasions or moments? When in fact every day, every moment that we are alive is a special occasion, as we have the opportunity to be the love we are and bring this quality to every part of our living day.

  29. When we prepare our meals with love, it tastes and feels amazing when we eat it. But when we take extra care in setting the table and clearing it, the amazing feeling goes to another level. the space we prepare for ourselves is equally as important as the meal itself.

  30. I considered similar questions about care with my morning shower. I can bring that level of attention and care into my everyday but it feels like all the ‘have to-do’s’ distract me from this. Rather than focusing on the why is the distraction so attractive when care feels amazing I feel to keep coming back and appreciating these moments of presence and care.

  31. A classic example of making a meal about Love and connection not just about the food. It actually adds to the quality of the meal and makes it evolutionary and meaningful. These are by far the best meals.

  32. Beautiful. To make every moment special. We are often so focussed on the moments that we deem special in our life that we miss out on the beauty every (other) moment holds.

  33. The quality of energy we feel in our bodies when we move about our days brings a great energy to all facets of our lives and shows just how much fun and joy we can have anytime and with anyone when we feel totally at ease and connected to our bodies.

  34. It’s great to put a care and detail to anything let alone a breakfast date or similar with one of your children. Like the article is saying we get caught up busy in life and walk past the important things. Taking time to truly connect with everything you do makes the end result a ‘no brainer’ as it will be the end result of that same quality. Again as the article presents, the intention, the way it’s made and in fact the quality of every step leading in to wherever you are going already sets the foundation and momentum of what’s to come. We place so much focus on the end at times that we tend to not see or celebrate the walk there. Every part is important as the end is only the final part of a whole journey.

  35. Johanna, what your lovely sharing highlights for me is the fact of how our quality and care affects all that we do, say and write….beautiful to feel the quality of tenderness in your writing.

  36. Why can’t every meal feel like a date (fun, playful, light and enjoyable)?” Great question, and what a joy that sounds to bring to every meal whether we sit with someone or whether we are dining alone.

  37. Cutest story ever!! I love this little ritual. What an awesome start to any day. Making the time to really enjoy breakfast time….so simple and such a pleasure.

  38. Joy Johanna, the missing element when we make it about chores alone. I feel you delight in how you prepared and your delight in sharing it with your daughter, and in fact I feel the date started with you in your preparation and continued into the eating together. We do things and the question is what is the quality we do them in, is it in appreciation, joy and delight or as a chore, a need to do. We can choose.

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