I never normally make New Year’s resolutions but this year I promised myself that we will sit around the table together as a family more often, and turn off all digital distractions. We used to be so good at this but over the past year with a new baby, and a husband who’s often home late from work, our routine has seen a bit of a shift. So I was thrilled when HelloFresh contacted me to take part in their #DinnerTimeChallenge, as I knew this would be the perfect way to kickstart my ‘promise’.
According to new research commissioned by HelloFresh, 40% of adults eat their dinner alone and over half of us parents don’t eat dinner with our children. The research blames our busy lives, digital devices, fussy eaters and a lack of food inspiration as the main reasons.
Here are some of the other findings from the research – along with how we fit in to the results…
- 73% of adults say they no longer sit together around the table at meal times
Dom and I try our best to eat together most nights but of course there are nights when he’s home from work late, which makes it difficult to for us to have food together.
- 69% of adults eat watching TV or whilst looking at a tablet
If I’m honest there is normally one night a week where Dom and I will sit down and enjoy a bowl of pasta on the sofa while watching one of our favourite TV shows. I won’t apologise for this, it’s one of my guilty pleasures!
- 1 in 5 households eat different foods for dinner
On the whole the girls eat what we eat, I don’t like making more than one meal but there are nights when I’ll make them an early dinner and then make Dom and myself something different later in the evening.
- 52% of adults blame long work hours for not sitting down together
Without a doubt we fall into this category. Most nights Dom is not home until the girls are in bed so (on these nights) eating together is just not possible.
- 50% of parents admit to feeding their children before them
Yes, I’ve already admitted to this one! *covers eyes in shame…
- Over half of parents questioned (58%) said their children’s fussy eating causes arguments in the house
Kids are definitely much more fussy than us adults, and I’d be lying if I said my girls eat everything but on the whole they are happy to eat what I make. To be honest, as long as they’re willing to try the food I’m happy.
- One in ten said that their children won’t stay seated at the table
This is not a problem in our house, the girls won’t get up until they’ve been told they can leave. Yes, we’re pretty strict on this in our house!
- 60% of children are allowed to eat their evening meal in front of the TV or a tablet
Eating dinner in front of the TV may be my guilty pleasure but this is not something I allow the girls to do. Their food is always served at the table.
As I’ve already mentioned we’ve been taking part in the HelloFresh #DinnerTimeChallenge, which is an initiative to encourage the nation to spend 30 days eating dinner together as a family – as much as possible.
“We know life gets in the way and sometimes there’s nothing you want more than to flop in front of the TV with your feet up. But the news that 73% of the population think that sitting down for dinner is a thing of the past is really sad! We know we’re biased, but at HelloFresh we live and breathe dinner time and we understand the physical and emotional benefits of sitting around a table, discussing the day; food can bring people, friends and families together, so this is why we are launching the #DinnerTimeChallenge – to try and get people to commit to eat together as much as they can for 30 days and see the benefits”
– says Patrick Drake, head chef and co-founder, HelloFresh
As part of the challenge we’ve been receiving a weekly family box from HelloFresh. If you’ve been following my Insta Stories, on Instagram you may have seen some of my deliveries and prepared meals. HelloFresh create ‘cook from scratch’ meals that are delivered straight to your door, with easy-to-follow-recipe cards and pre-portioned fresh ingredients.
The first thing I’ve realised from receiving the HelloFresh boxes is how limited and uninspired my dinner offerings were. I enjoy cooking but week in, week out I tended to make the same old favourite meals. The HelloFresh boxes are full of tasty, healthy meals from across the world, we’ve had curries, koftas, kebabs, coconut rice and tabbouleh to name a few inspiring recipes.
We’re now a few weeks into the challenge and we’ve managed to eat together as a family at every given opportunity. There has been nights where Dom has been late home due to work commitments but even on these nights, we’ve made an effort to eat together as a couple at the dinner table – and not in front of the television.
The main benefits I’ve noticed…
- As a family we’ve eaten more healthy meals, made from scratch with less food being wasted.
- We’ve spoken more about our days and had conversations that we might not have had without this is special time.
- The girls have helped to make some the meals, which has encouraged them to try new favours and textures.
- For the whole challenge I’ve only made one meal per night, which saves time, money and stress!
- I now have lots of new mealtime ideas and inspirations to add to my repertoire.
Why don’t you try the #DinnerTimeChallenge? I’d love to hear how you get on.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborated post. I’m being sent the HelloFresh boxes to promote their #DinnerTimeChallenge.