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