Whether it be with family, friends, or loved ones, there is nothing quite as wonderful as sharing a meal. It is a time when we can decompress after a busy day, engage in lively discussion, exchange ideas, or simply enjoy being in one another’s presence all while delighting in refreshment. As we gather around the table each day at LifeWays, hands graciously joined in blessing, I see the importance that mealtime holds for our children. It is around the table where stories are told about trips to the zoo, catching moths in the forest, going fishing, or visiting grandma’s and grandpa’s house. Engaged in such conversation allows for a child to practice listening intently to their friends while waiting to share their own views and experiences. One learns to sit calmly and patiently in their chair as food is carefully passed to each plate and milk is poured in each cup. A child learns expressions of gratitude and polite requests in the oh so magic words of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. When seated together around the table, children may even be more apt to try new foods as they observe others heartily eating everything on their plate. Food indeed is a powerful social force, and the skills that are learned and shared during mealtime are plentiful! While joined at the table we not only nourish our bodies, we nourish our compassion, our love, and our connection to one another. It is a moment when we can take interest in one another and truly open our hearts.