What are your memories of Sunday dinners?

Family DinnerLeah was sitting in a memoir writing class when the instructor said to think back to a moment when you met a turning point in your life. Instantly she thought of the last time her family enjoyed Sunday afternoon dinner together. She was 16 years old, the youngest sibling in her family. 

Hear, hear,” Dad said. “I have an important announcement to make. Now that you are all old enough to have other places to be or to go to, we will no longer require you to give up your Sunday afternoons to come home to dinner. It’s Mom’s turn to take the day off or spend them with me wherever we plan to go. It will include dinner out in a restaurant for us.”

She wrote about how much she missed those Sunday afternoon dinners. Although she was a teenager, her time away was not as demanding as her two older brothers and sister. Sure, Mom certainly deserved time to herself or going out with Dad. They did have supper together during the week but there was always someone or two missing from the table for one reason or another. Sundays were special. She missed the conversation, the catch-up of news, and the laughter. Often a guest joined them. Holidays were a replica but it was never the same as those Sunday dinners. 

Sharing a meal with family or friends is what older adults have missed the most this past pandemic year. Mainly for the same reasons, the catch-up of news, camaraderie, sharing, and laughter. Of course, the food is an important part of the meal but it isn’t only about the food. When your food serving team is preparing, packing, and again beginning to serve meals under the new guidelines of social distancing, they are a vital part of re-creating those memories for your residents. If they didn’t know before the pandemic, food servers learned their value to their communities in this year of restrictive and sometimes solitary living for residents.

As the creator of Kind Dining♥ coaching sessions, I know the influence a food server has on mealtimes. It is proof of the necessity of good, interactive training where food servers learn the value of serving skills that include attitude, civility, relationship, and the caring that shines through when a food server does it right. Is it any wonder the effect they have on the health and well-being of those older adults.

 B♥ Kind ®Tip: How you serve meals makes an impact on an older adult’s day.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy Heilman MS, DTR: Cindy Heilman has over 25 years of experience in enhancing hospitality, and food service standards. She is the CEO of her own company, Higher Standards LLC, and creator of Kind Dining® Training. Her unique background in restaurant ownership, in hospitality and healthcare food service, in working as a Dietetic Technician Registered and Healthcare Specialist at SYSCO Foodservices, led her to the development of her exclusive program that improves relationships and lives of aging residents through the dining experience.

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