Creating meaningful connection at the dinner table.

Creating meaningful connection at the dinner table.

Our sponsorship of Outward Bound helps equip young New Zealanders with the skills of resilience, connection and compassion, needed to thrive in life.  

Outward Bound brings learnings from their Anakiwa courses to your home to help you build impactful moments with your loved ones.


This content comes from Outward Bound.

Communal meals in the dining hall at the Outward Bound school in Anakiwa are one of the quintessential Outward Bound experiences, where students of all backgrounds come together at the end of a physically challenging day to share a meal.  


Over 70,000 students have gone through the school since it opened in 1962, and with that have left with a clear understanding of Outward Bound’s ethos around the importance of mealtime connection.

If you have been lucky enough to attend Outward Bound, you will know that on their busiest days they are cooking for up to 200 people each meal. Nonetheless each meal follows several key practices to deepen connection and gratitude. Appreciation for those who have been involved in the production and preparation of your food is key and you may like to implement some of Outward Bound’s mealtime practices at home.  

  • First of all – be present! One easy way to show your thanks is to give the gift of your presence and with that engage with your loved ones.  
  • Try and get everyone to help with one aspect of the meal. It could be in the planning, meal preparation, setting the table or cleaning. At Outward Bound everyone has a role to play. This reinforces the notion that dinner is a united family experience and it's not just one person's job. 
  • Switch off the TV and surrender all digital devices. No phones at the dinner table and no answering messages during meal time. 
  • Eat at the dinner table and not on the couch. Being around the table encourages eye contact and conversation. 
  • Before tucking into your kai, you could share a karakia or prayer. Outward Bound have shared below the karakia that is said prior to each meal in the Anakiwa dining hall. 
  • Tip for parents – regular connection at meals offers the opportunity to role model good behaviours e.g. good table manners, trying different foods, portion sizes 

By engaging with whānau and friends through cooking and sharing food, you can take an opportunity to switch off from technology and enjoy the simple art of conversation around the dinner table – and you’ll find that sharing food together will make it taste even better!


Outward Bound's Karakia mō te Kai (Blessing for Food):

Auraki mai ngā kono

Kei waenganui i a tatou

He kai māku

He kai māu

He kai māna

Tihei Mauri Ora

Bring these food baskets

Set here amongst all of us

Food for me

Food for you

Food for them

Let there be life