Should kids be allowed to sit at the ADULT table?

Photo Credit: Putneypics via Compfight cc
Should kids be allowed to sit at the ADULT table?
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team
With Christmas and the remaining winter holidays now upon us, we’ve seen a wide variety of yummy new recipes and neat ideas for preparing and serving a spectacular holiday dinner. Whether it’s roasting a terrifically juicy turkey, setting a beautiful holiday table, or even accommodating guests with food allergies and aversions…we’ve seen it all. One recent article that really stood out for us discussed eliminating the infamous (and sometimes dreaded) “kids’ table.”
I don’t know about you but, as a child, I remember spending all of my holiday dinners at the kids’ table! Surrounded by cousins and siblings, I had a wonderful time goofing around, giggling boisterously and enjoying dinner with people my age. There was, however, an unspoken desire to graduate to the ADULT table. When my cousins left for college and then returned home for the holidays, I noticed that they had earned seats at the highly coveted ADULT table. I must admit that I was more than just a little bit jealous! When would I get to sit there? What mature and important topics would the adults be discussing at that most desirable grown-ups’ table?
I can remember sneaking over to the ADULT table when I’d finished my meal to listen in on all those grown-up conversations. It was surely one of my most favorite things to do! And when I finally became old enough to officially join them, I loved every minute of it. My time at the grown-ups’ table and the discussions I shared with my elder relatives were incredibly important to me. In fact, I can still remember some funny stories that were told over countless family meals. However, I also remember my childhood meals shared with my younger family members…and I always had just as good a time at the kids’ table.
A recent editorial column in Bon Appétit suggested that parents should “lose the kids’ table.” It clearly stressed that having the entire family together, regardless of age, creates better dinners and memories for families. I think I have to agree with them. While it may take some effort to keep the dinner conversation “kid-friendly,” you’re crafting more bonding time with your children, therefore making memories that will last a lifetime.
Now, when it comes to holiday meal seating plans for my kids, the deciding factor is simply the space available. If we have room or access to an ample-sized table at our holiday functions, we most certainly have the kids join us to eat their meal. I enjoy sharing stories with, and talking to, the kids. It helps us all to create wonderful new and lasting family memories. Sometimes, however, when we have limited accessible table space, we’re actually forced to set up a kids’ table. But I don’t think they really mind too much; the kids get to spend quality time with their cousins and bond over their own fun-filled conversations and meals.
Do you have a kids’ table at holiday and family get-togethers? Does the amount of space you have in your house/apartment play into the decision? Or do the kids and adults sit together at the same table? We’d love to hear your take!
Photo: Ellen Silverman and Cooking Light

Also, we wanted to share these amazingly delicious holiday side dish recipes from Cooking Light! I mean, how good do these roasted brussels sprouts look?

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