When we are all busy working, cleaning and keeping on top of all the after school clubs and extracurricular activities, family meal times can easily be forgotten. Research conducted by HiPP Organic, exclusively for the Wean Team, has found that when it comes to family meal times, almost 90% of parents say that eating together as a family is very important. Despite this, only 25% actually manage to sit down and eat dinner together 1-2 times a week. The British roast dinner came out as a firm family favourite (42%). Curry (15%) and pasta dishes (13%) also topped the list as a much loved meal. Sitting down and eating together as a family is so important, and there are a huge number of benefits to family meal times too.
- Kids are more likely to try new foods if they see the other members of their families eating them. It’s also a great time to start gently teaching table manners – again, children learn by example!
- You can control the portion sizes, and make sure your little ones are getting the right amount of fruit, veg, protein and carbohydrates
- Studies have shown that children who eat with their families are less likely to suffer from depression and eating disorders in the future, and more likely to have a positive body image
- Sitting round a table together is a great opportunity to discuss the day, talk about any worries or concerns and make plans
- Eating the same meal together as a family saves money. It is much cheaper than a takeaway, and there are some great cash saving family recipes that can save you a small fortune. What about a quick and easy pasta recipe? Put some pasta on to boil. While it is cooking, pop some chopped tomatoes, garlic and onion powder and seasoning into a pan, and add a bag of frozen Mediterranean vegetables. Cook through until the veg is warm and soft, and stir in the pasta.
The HiPP Organic tray meals are healthy and nourishing with just the right tastes and textures to encourage the progression to family foods, and they are the only brand to offer pasta shapes (zoo animals, alphabet,numbers) – a great step into the pasta meal I mentioned above! Once HiPP’s recipes are approved, tested and tested again, the finished products go through more than 260 quality controls in a state-of-the-art laboratory before they are approved to carry the HiPP label, so you can be confident that your little one is getting nothing but the best.
Of course, family meal times aren’t just restricted to the dining table. You can sit and enjoy a family dinner in the garden with the BBQ fired up. You can make a home cooked meal while on a camping holiday and savour it in the great outdoors. Or how about a picnic at the park?