The community communion table

by Jasmine Carlson on April 7, 2010

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2808759067_de40a54f47Food is a big deal in my family and in our community. Meals, especially dinner, are when everyone gets together. They are loud and they last a long time. No one seems to be in a hurry to get them over with.

Dinner prep is usually fairly chaotic with everyone in and out of the kitchen and the kitchen overflows with smells. We cook spicy and ethnic food a lot so curry and chili are regular smells in our kitchen.

Dinner is a community communion of sorts. You can feel the joy of eating when our clan gets together. We make food that is nourishing, made of as many whole foods — and organic when we can afford it — as we are able and food that is full of flavor. Our policy is that everyone should leave the table full in every way, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Since shortly after my son was born he sensed that dinnertime was special. That there was something special about sitting down together and that it made eating something more than just nourishing our bodies but that it is something that nourishes relationship, something that nourishes the soul.

By the time he was a few months old he demanded to “sit” at the table with everyone. Usually on my husband’s or my lap. He wanted to be a part of what was going on.

As my son started to eat food I watched him enjoy food. My son loves both curry and chili. Granted he is now a very normal toddler and I have to come up with creative ways to introduce healthy food in to his diet but I am satisfied knowing that the meals we put on the table are full of nourishing food but it’s more than just the food he is putting it to his belly. My son sits at the end of our large dinner table and he engages in the conversation and laughter that happens. I am happy to see my son be nourished in every way around the community communion table.

Jasmine is a co-housing community living mama with a passion for fierce writing.

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Jasmine Carlson (50 Posts)

Jasmine is a community living mama with a passion for fierce writing and fitness. She her way on Team USA by fitness coaching. Shaping Her. ( Join the conversation at (

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie @ PhD in Parenting May 3, 2010 at 10:27 am

That sounds absolutely wonderful!

In our house, I must admit it is difficult. Our kids seem to have an inherited (from their dad) tendency to have difficulty eating when a lot of people are around. If I sit them at the table with a plate of food while I’m preparing meals for the rest of the family, they will eat it happily. If I wait and have them sit down with the whole family, they seem too distracted, excited or anxious by the gathering to actually eat their food.

It is a source of frustration for me because I value the family table and the extended family table, but my kids seem to have trouble with it despite the fact that it has been a part of their lives since they were born.


Jasmine Carlson May 3, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Seems like things with young kids go in seasons and an enjoyable family table will probably happen again soon.


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