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December 2012 - Issue 1


family special

with e.d. christmas special - culture trip - and a lot more 1


r 2012

VISIVO Issue 1 December 2012 EDITORS Marloes Aben, Siard Kuipers, Nara Lee, Anne van Lieren, Daniel Salomon, Nard van der Werff VISIVO magazine Copyright Š 2012 VISIVO 2


Mother and wife Sophie Rawolt reveals her story 6


Difference in families at dinner based on real life experiences 8


A special time in the year for an unique moment with your family 10


Discover family rituals in the exotic spain 14


Relevant facts that provide you insight about family dinners 18


Tips for issues to discuss during family time 19


"We want to encourage families to communicate and connect in an open atmosphere at the dining table"


Dear READER In the special Visivo® edition, several aspects of FAMILIES are passing by. Sinterklaas has left the country and has made space for Santa. The candles and grate-fires are lit again and a cozy atmosphere is forming. Space is made in the busy lives of many in order to spend time with the whole family. But what does CHRISTMAS mean for a working man? Check out page 12. Bob de Vries tells us about the contrast between the daily life and Christmas. But is it the same for you? Multiple different types of families exist, three main types of which are discussed, see page 8. Now we want to encourage families, specifically the ‘distant’ and the ‘when it is convenient’ types, to communicate and connect with each other in an open atmosphere through a MEANINGFUL ritual at the dining table. Hereby you could think of dining RITUALS in SPAIN where it is normal to have ‘La Sobremesa. Also check out the facts of dining and tips on achieving a more lively dinner time on page 19! For some, it won't be easy to create a whole new atmosphere, but take the first step and the family feeling will be there. Do you feel it already? If you have any comments, feel free to send us a mail at


At the DINING TABLE with...

This month we visited Sophie Raworth (44) at her dining table in the South West of London. Together with her husband, Gary (45) and three children, Amy (8), Lauren (11) and James (15), she lives a busy life as a BBC presenter. Combining her family with her work and her diner table rituals were discussed over a cup of coffee.


s a starter, which dish occurs most often at your dining table? Caramel cheesecake, is definitely the most favorable dish that occurs at our dining table. Actually, I made one this morning so we can have a slice. The whole family loves it, especially James.

"Taking the time to sit still, to ENJOY a moment, to really connect with others is a very VALUABLE thing"

Do you always eat together with your whole family? No, unfortunately not because I present the BBC 6 o’clock news four times a week. Gary jumps in at these days, which is very nice. We try to ensure that the kids never eat alone. We find that appalling, but unfortunately it occurs more and more

often in most families. We think that children shouldn’t be eating a microwave meal by themselves watching the TV. This can make them feel unhappy and not appreciated. Eating together is therefore very important for us. 6

Why do you think it is important to eat as a family? I think that taking the time to sit still, to enjoy a moment, to really connect with others is a very valuable thing. Most people forget that because they are always busy. Sure, we're all busy, but it's not impossible to find time for the things and people we really care about. I think that having a family diner at least once a week is very important. In this way you don’t lose the connection with your kids and you know what’s going on in their lives.

Don’t you rather go out to eat? No, for me the feeling of being in your own home with your own dishes and stuff makes it even more special. Just eating and connecting with your family in a safe environment where you can feel free and accepted. You can talk about anything and do whatever you want without other people judging you. It is much more private than in a restaurant. What is your favorite part of the week? Sunday afternoon, when James is at soccer practice and Gary and the girls visit grandma. This is my day for lingering and at least half of it is spent reading or writing. Nothing seriously focused, more like doodling to get away from my busy work and open my creativity and relax. I also love to take a run to clear my mind and feel free.

"On these SPECIAL nights we really take the TIME and sit at the table for hours" So, tell us more about your family dinners. Sunday night is family dinner night. No TV or whatsoever. It is the time that we discuss the past week and make plans for the coming days. We make plans, jokes and sometimes play a game. Once in a while we make it really special. We have the lights dimmed, candles lit, background music and we make multiple courses. Special tableware comes out and the comfortable chairs from the living room are snugged at the table. On these special nights we really take the time en sit at the table for hours. I wish we could have these nights more often. But it takes an effort, and on a Sunday night I don’t always have the energy.

"Just eating and CONNECTING with your family in a SAFE environment where you can feel FREE and accepted" So what’s your advice for other parents? Just pull up some chairs. Lose the TV. Let the phone go unanswered and see where the moment takes you.


FAMILY types Based on dining behaviour COSY EVERY DAY

At dinner all family members sit together at the table and enjoy their meal while having a lively conversation about anything. This continues even after everyone has finished their plate while some members do the dishes.


Television seems more exciting than family time at the dinner. Kids avoid conversations and watch the TV at the table, teenagers run away as soon as they have finished their plate or even take the food immediately to their room.


It’s hard to see all family members together at the table, when a parent works late and kids have extracurricular activities in the evenings. Sometimes when it is convenient like weekends, a family do dine together. Otherwise everyone will just serve their own food.


SARAH (19) “I am part of a family of seven persons, so it is quite crowded when we all dine together, but very cosy. Everyone has something to talk about and can relate to each other so I definitely fit in this type!”

>>WHICH TYPE ARE YOU? JOHN (15) “Dinner interrupts me. Eating is fine, as long as I can continue doing what I was doing. I guess I kind of belong to the distant type.”

LILY (20) “My dad often goes on business trips and my brother gets home later than I do, so it usually isn’t convenient to eat together. We only do that at Sundays when everyone is home, so that is nice. Otherwise I’d just warm up a meal that mom has prepared, which is okay too.”


Christmas special

Christmas is one of those rare occasions in which all family-members put their best efforts. Whether it is cooking a meal, opening gifts or just sitting by the fireplace, there is an undeniable atmosphere of togetherness present in every home. Even though the special feeling that goes along with Christmas is caused by the exclusivity of this holiday, it certainly creates a tighter bond between everyone included. A bond that most families find hard to sustain in the busy lives they lead. Allow this Christmas special to inspire you to spend time with your friends and family during this special time of the year.


hat does Christmas mean to you and how do you celebrate it? For us, Christmas is a time to get together with the entire family. My wife and I try to put a lot of effort into the traditional Christmas dinner, together with my sister and father. We really see it as an opportunity to create a cozy and more intimate atmosphere. How do you think your children feel about this Christmas dinner? Even though the kids are at an age where they don’t quite share their parents’ interests, we still manage to get them excited for this. They really look forward to it and aren’t even afraid to help out themselves. How does this Christmas experience differ from your usual dinner? We also try to eat together every day, and we succeed in that very often. However, my wife and I both being employed is what makes dinner quite mandatory, something we just want to get over with…



Would you consider investing time and effort into making this cozy experience a more frequent event? Absolutely. Seeing how we all enjoy each other’s companies during Christmas, I would certainly want to experience this feeling more often. Perhaps even every week. It would certainly bring our family closer together.

Interview with Bob de Vries; Husband, Father & Businessman

“It would certainly bring our family closer together”

Merry Christmas Bob!


TRUFFLES Involve your kids in your Christmas cooking!




In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla until no streaks remain. Refrigerate for about 1 hour. Shape into 1 inch balls.


1 hr

• Roll truffles in ground walnuts (or any ground nuts), cocoa, coconut, confectioners' sugar, candy sprinkles, etc. • To flavor truffles with liqueurs or other flavorings, omit vanilla. Divide truffle mixture into thirds. Add 1 tablespoon liqueur (almond, coffee, orange) to each mixture; mix well.


"Insanely easy, but oh so rich! Recipe makes a large amount but you can vary flavorings and coatings to make several different varieties."

CULTURE TRIP Spain is the country of the long beaches, the long nightlife and the fabulous food, and I had the opportunity to go there and experience the atmosphere. During my visit in Granada, I stayed at the Alonso family. This hospitable family existing of Carlos (47), Isabel (43) and three teenagers, Pablo (18), Felippe (16) and Sofia (11) are living in the center of Granada.


fter his work Carlos picked me up from the airport, and in the car he told me that Isabel was making a lovely dinner. Her passion, beside her own tourist shop, is cooking and bringing her family together with her food. When we came home Isabel had some tapas prepared as a starter. The serving of tapas is designed to encourage conversation because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal that is set before them. In the Alonso family, the tapas did indeed create an open atmosphere where I was looking for. Isabelle also told me that it is not always possible to eat together with the whole family, because everybody has their own schedules. However, they try to do the best they can. They all agree that by eating together they learn a lot about each other’s lives. When I said that 40% of the families who have 0 to 2 family dinners/week do only a little or even nothing about what is going on in the teen’s life, they found that shocking. ‘How can you be a family when you do so little? It is so important to know what is going on in life’, said Carlos. Felippe found that it is sometimes difficult to plan his own schedule around the dinner, but it would surely be worth their while. 15

a l l e a p g n i k o o c isabel At nine o’clock the main course of tonight’s dinner is served: paella. Originally paella is a Valencian rice dish made in one big pan, the paelleras. The feeling that I get was that the paelleras symbolizes the big family, the coziness and being together. During dinner everybody told something about his and her day, little Sofia loves to tell every little detail of her day, and it was not an exception this time. Pablo was coming with some serious news. He wanted to go to Pamplona to go to the festival Los Sanfermines. He wanted to participate with ‘el encierro’ the most distinctive and internationally known part of the festival. Hereby mainly young men run 830 meters long for the bulls on cobbled streets and then in the bullring. My thoughts were like no, how is it possible that you want something like that. I am against bullfighting anyway, so this is something I do not understand. Carlos and Felippe 16

were immediately enthusiastic and found it beautiful that Pablo wanted to participate. Now I wanted to know the thoughts behind this decision. Pablo quoted some lines about the history of Los Sanfermines from an article: The festival’s history which arose from the conjunction of three separate celebrations, dates back to the Middle Ages. The first of these was a religious festival which was held in October in honour of the city’s patron saint, San Fermín. Then, in the fourteenth century, came Summer trade fairs, and bull fights and bull runs. The Sanfermines became internationally famous in the twentieth century, when the Ernest Hemingway novel ‘The Sun Also Rises,’ published in 1926, encouraged people from all over the world to visit the city which was central to Hemingway’s plot – the bull runs of Pamplona.


Now I must admit that I still do not get why one would want to participate, but I think it is to show your manliness. A real meaning of bullfighting does not exist, but the main goal is to entertain the audience. After dinner the best part of the evening started: ‘la sobremesa’. Literally sobremesa means over the table and indicates chatting after a meal. This instead of taking the last bite and go home, what happens in a lot of homes in the Netherlands. In Spain it happens frequently that family or friends stay after dinner and enjoy each other’s company. While we were talking it was striking that the whole family was constantly interrupting each other. I thought it was not decent to do something like that, but when I asked them about their opinion, they say that it was a sign that you were listening attentively. That it was a good thing when the collocutor respond immediately with sounds like ‘claro’ or ‘si’. It was something I must get used to, but the remarkable thing was that it helps really well! The conversation was becoming very dynamic by interrupting each other and completing each other’s sentences.

apas =)

Unfortunately the visit to Spain was really short, but I enjoyed every minute during my stay with the Alonso family. There is just one thing I now want to say: La vida es bella, por lo que disfrutar.

s e n i m r e f n Los sa

Hasta la vista!


Did you KNOW why dining TOGETHER is good for you? SELF EXPRESSION


Children and teenagers say they like having time to talk to the adults about what happens in their lives. Dinner together with their family is the perfect opportunity. Here they can talk about everyday’s experiences, develop their opinion and express their feelings.

There is also a physical aspect . Your body gives a signal when you've eaten enough, but if you do anything else, eating while watching TV, that signal gets lost in the mixed signals. And so you eat more than you really should eat. So eating together, you can really concentrate on the food you get.



While eating together, communication between children and adults improves and their family's values and traditions are being transmitted.

Cooking for a family is cheaper than cooking for one person. So food dollars are better utilized with larger sized purchases. Also time is better spend, because the family only cooks one meal.


Sharing meals together has an impact on wellbeing of children and teenagers. Research of the university of Washington shows us that children and teenagers who have the habit to eat together are doing better at school, have less behavioural problems and teenagers are less apt to use alcohol or drugs.


Meals eaten together influence the quality of the food prepared. It seems to be more nutritious and healthful.


With a daily routine of eating together it helps to create traditions around food and meals.



Issues to discuss during meals


It may sound cliché but it is an highly effective opening. It facilitates an open situation and creates a platform for all kinds of issues. Respond to the issues your child raises and let it flow.









Past holidays are experiences children share with their parents. Very often it is great to remember these common memories and reflect on the beautiful and relaxed moments you had together. This can also be turned in future plans, either together or apart. It creates pleasant fantasies.

This subject is ideal to get a grip on the way things are developing at school. The learning environment at school is more than just that, it also is the time and place where relations are formed. Boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers, they form relations that help or can hinder your child’s development. Talking about these relations helps you and your child to get a clear picture of the cognitive and social evolution of your child.

Discussing hobby's and sports is an easy way to discover the progress of your child. This is an area that has your child intrinsic interest. Talking about it is not threatening and opens gateways to other, maybe, more serious subjects. In sports and hobby’s a child can let it’s talents develop. Most of the time they enjoy talking about their successes and even their doubts.

Children are part of different social communities; family, neighborhood, schools, sports, church, ethnic origin. It is important for children to be confirmed in them being part of these specific groups in order to form their own identity. It provides them with values, traditions and behavioral tools to cope with the outer World. This is an aspect that should not be underestimated.


VISIVO Family special  

Magazine made for school (all stories are made up and we deserve no credit for the images which we've slightly edited)

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