At Cheeky we want every meal to count, because we’re on a mission to make mealtime matter. From the food on our plate to those we share our meal with, we can make a difference starting at the dinner table.
We chatted with our friends at Turkey on the Table to ask what "Make Mealtime Matter" means to them. We're big fans of TOTT - they encourage families to talk about what they're thankful for in a fun activity that can be done around the Thanksgiving table or any day of year. Even better? For each turkey sold, they donate 10 meals through their partnership with Feeding America!
What does “Make Mealtime Matter” mean to you?
“Make Mealtime Matter” to us is sitting down as a family to discuss the days events, and highs and lows. Connecting over food, with family and friends is an important part of life, for those lucky enough to have food in their pantries and on their table. We think food draws people together, and it is something every person deserves to have.
If you could invite any four people to dine with, living or not, who would you choose?
April: I would love to invite both of my grandmothers to hear more of their wit and wisdom. I loved hearing stories they shared about growing up as true pioneer women who persevered through struggles that I will never see in my lifetime. I would like to think that a lot of my (grit/scrappiness) came from both of these strong women! I would also invite Martin Luther king, Jr. I admire his faith, foresight, passion and tenacity to bring to light a subject that was both unpopular and ignored for much too long.
My fourth guest would be Dolly Parton. Not only am I a huge fan of her music, and I love her contagious jovial personality, but the impact she has made in so many lives through her Imagination Library foundation is incredible. She has such a giving heart, and is a perfect example that there is joy in giving!
What are your favorite tricks and tips to style your mealtime gatherings with friends?
Kerry: I love to have people over, and my goal is ALWAYS not to stress out about entertaining. Sometimes, I achieve my goal, but sometimes I let the details get the best of me. I love to add a few fun elements to go with the theme, whether it’s a special drink, or the tablescape, music, or a game/activity that ties it all together. My main tips are to do as many things you can in advance as possible, and enjoy when the guests are there. I always cut lemons and limes for drinks, and also set serving pieces on my counter so I am not searching for them when guests are over. I also like to serve things buffet style so that people can take more of the things they like, and I am not wasting things that certain guests prefer not to eat.
In my heart I know that just opening your home to invite friends or family over is not about the details or the cleanliness of my home, but about bonding and spending time together, so I try not to over do it.
How do you decide what to make for dinner? Does it have to do with your guests, your mood, the occasion, what you’re craving?
During our busy season, our family is lucky to get anything homemade! We do a lot of take out and easily prepared fresh foods from our nearby supermarket. In general, we make food based on our moods and cravings, but also try to incorporate the seasonal fruits and vegetables that we are lucky to get at our nearby farmer’s markets.
What’s your favorite question to ask guests at your dinner table?
Kerry: Every night that we eat together as a family we go over our “Highs & Lows” of the day. A “high” is required, but a “low” is optional. It is a great way to see if something happened at school that we haven’t heard about, or finding out that my boys really loved something we did that I might not have realized was such a hit. It is funny, but we don’t do highs and lows at any other time, except mealtime.
How do you choose to end hunger and why?
April: We choose to end hunger by donating meals for each of our Turkey on the Table products sold through our partnership with Feeding America. When we launched in 2015, our goals were to spread love & gratitude, by creating a product that encouraged the daily habit of gratitude and also displayed it in a visual way. We also wanted to give back. It is important for children to understand that food on the table is not a “given”, and many children to to school without even eating breakfast. It feels good to support Feeding America because we know the money goes to help the 1 in 7 Americans that face hunger on a daily basis.