A Shared Bowl of Rice

We sponsor a little girl through Compassion, and our latest magazine from them had a photo of a family all eating dinner from a large communal bowl of rice with meat and vegetables. Our children were very interested in this, and we had a great discussion about what type of food people eat in other countries, and how they eat it.

To encourage their interest and to give them more of an awareness of other cultures, I decided to serve dinner differently tonight. We always eat as a whole family around our dinner table each night, which I think is an important part of family life. However, we always have our own plate and knives and forks as is normal in Australia. Tonight we sat on the floor on a sarong, and ate rice, with meat and vegetables from a communal bowl.
It was amazing how much the kids ate, and how they didn't complain about anything, and how quiet dinner was! They just sat and ate... it was lovely!

The dinner contained minced beef, egg plant, carrots, fresh green beans and a whole zucchini and it all got devoured. I ate with them too, and really enjoyed the experience. Michael was at work, so he didn't get to join in with us this time, but we'll have to make sure we do it again soon.

I would highly recommend that every family try this. It is a bonding experience, and great for cultural awareness. If you do try it, please let me know how it goes as I would love to hear if it works for other familes too.

I have included a little video of our dinner experience below. You will see what I mean about how all the kids just sat and ate quietly. There is a funny part at the end where Charlotte moves Oliver's arm and he tells her off. It's so funny! Our kids just laughed and laughed when they watched it. He got over it pretty quickly though.

Oh, and Jacob making all those funny little sounds made the kids crack up too! It's like he's trying to speak in another language (he usually speaks completely normally)... perhaps he's just getting right into the cultural experience thing... heh heh

If you want to watch it without the background music, just press pause on the green music player (above right).


  1. Wow, that IS a quiet meal! That's a really great idea, will have to keep that in mind for the future.

  2. What a lovely idea to promote cultural awareness with your children. My childrens primary school has "Fish and Rice" day once a year where they are given a small quantity of fish and rice for lunch so that can appreciate how lucky they are!

  3. Hi Ruth, Thanks for visiting our blog. I've had a lovely time reading yours. You have a beautiful family. I love the meal idea. A friend of mine does a similar thing occasionally and lets her children pick a country, the kids have to do some research and find recipes and outfits to wear and then they have a big themed family dinner. I do like your meal though, very simple, meaningful and fun.


Hi! Thanks for leaving me a comment... I love to hear from people :-)
Ruth xx