Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tuesday Quick Tip: Tea Time

Yesterday was Family Day - a day dedicated to encouraging families to have meals together. I hope you took the time to have a family dinner yesterday, but if you didn't, no biggie - just plan on eating together as a family tonight. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be together!

But I'd like to look at another fine tradition we've lost over time, particularly in America: Tea time.

I don't do this every day or week, or even every month, but every now and then, we all sit down before dinner and have a nice cup of tea, sometimes with a few cookies or lite snacks. While a fruity herbal tea is a great option for children or anyone who doesn't drink caffeine, Little Bit won't drink anything hot, so she has milk, water or juice instead.

Sometimes, I even break out a real teapot and our wedding china.

We sit down in the living room and enjoy a nice cup of tea and chat about our day in a civilized way. Hubby and I almost feel like real adults, and what child doesn't love a tea party? You could even use your child's tea cups if you want to add a bit of zing.

It's a fun, easy way to slow down, enjoy each other's company, and the snack is particularly nice if dinner's going to be awhile. Some even say the practice of tea time contribute to world peace - you may find it increases the peace in your home as well.

Tea can be made in the microwave, of course. But using the more traditional preparation adds a touch of elegance and relaxation to tea time.

For more on why tea time is a great idea for families and tips for preparing tea properly, read this essay by Karen Deuschle, a mother and nurse, on Old Fashioned Living.

If you don't like the idea of tea, think about adding a healthy late afternoon snack, perhaps cut vegetables, salad or soup, as a way to help hungry family members 'make it' until the adults can prepare a healthy sit-down dinner.
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