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The Social Power of Food for kids, adults, and seniors

 

When you think of food what comes to mind? Fuel, nutrients, taste, chocolate?

Food is a crucial part of our everyday lives. It keeps us alive! But. Food shouldn’t be used as just fuel in your tank. Food has the power to bring people together, create cultures, celebrate occasions, and bring overall happiness. When you think about any special event or occasion such as:
• Wedding
• Birthday
• Christmas
• Easter

There is one common denominator, food!

Food for kids

For kids, food is a major part of their socialisation, sensory learnings, and enjoyment. During recess or lunch food can be used to make friends, whether its swapping different muesli bars or giving up a tiny teddy. Food also plays an important role in bonding a family at mealtimes. And can also be used as a tool to further a child’s skills and learning.

Food for adults

As adults, food can be used to explore new cultures, catch up with friends, create traditions and learn new things. Food can be given as a gift and the act of making someone a meal can have a whole lot more meaning than just curing hunger. Take first dates as an example. They are almost always centred around either going out for a meal or making food together. One of the biggest parts of exploring a new country or culture is consuming traditional food. Each culture identifies with their own specific culinary traditions and flavours. Even something as simple as fish and chips.

Food for seniors

As for seniors, food is one of the longest-standing traditions in their lives. Mobility may deteriorate, hearing and sight may be impaired but food, in whatever form, becomes one of their major forms of socialisation and routine. Have you ever gone to visit your grandparents without getting the classic Kingston biscuit or homemade treat?

Yes, it is important to ensure you are consuming a balanced diet, but this also involves implementing the social aspects that can arise from food. The Mediterranean diet is a well-researched eating pattern that has shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. A main component of the diet is consuming meals in a social setting or with others. So, when you are out for a meal with a friend or sitting down for Christmas lunch ensure to appreciate not just the taste of the food but also the power it has on creating a moment.

Fuel Your Life

If you’d like to learn more about how to optimise your physical and mental health with food, explore our latest online nutrition programs. The self-guided courses were developed by Fuel Your Life’s Accredited Practising Dietitians and focus on improving your life, work performance and mental health. For more personalised nutritional advice, chat with one of our experienced dietitians and get started today.