Over the years, we have seen a difference in how families spend their time together, and how they spend it at the dinner table. In the UK, less families are sitting down together to eat dinner and those that do eat together are eating in front of the TV on the sofa. Over 20% of British families only sit down to dinner once or twice a week, and one in five has family meals in front of the television. So, with the dining table sitting unused catching dust, could this be the end of the road for traditional dining rooms?
In the UK, we can see a growth in more social dining outside of the home than those wanting to eat at the dinner table. The affordability of eating out is a big factor with families – especially with chain restaurants offering a casual and comfortable dining experience that is moderately priced.
The Telegraph found that families who ate dinner in the kitchen or dining room usually had a lower BMI. This is a measure of obesity equal to your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in metres. Could your dining room be the key to keeping your family healthy?
A healthy home
Dining at the table with your family could lead to a healthier lifestyle. With obesity still a very imminent issue across the UK, parents need to be pulling out all the stops to prevent and battle the issue among their children. Nearly 10% of children in their first year of school are obese in England. With figures continuously rising, we need to encourage a healthier lifestyle.
It can be the perfect routine for all family members to participate in. Families with young children could find that spending time together, around the table at dinner times, will encourage healthier food choices – in fact, a survey found that 9-14 year olds that frequently eat dinner with their families consumed more fruit and vegetables, as well as less soda and fried foods.
With more people eating out rather than in their own home, the portion they are served is uncontrollable. Studies show that when we are presented with more food, we feel the need to eat more food – and with as much as 60% less calories in a homemade meal than meals outside the home, it’s clear that eating at home is healthier for us.
With family members leading different lifestyles outside of the home, it can sometimes be a struggle to catch up. Leave a little time to spend together as a family –71% of teenagers saying the best part of family dinners is talking, catching up and spending time with family members, dinner times are a great opportunity to get the family together for some quality bonding time. It’s important to make time to spend with your family to ensure healthier relationships between family members.
Save your money
Eating at home will allow you to save more money in the long run, even though eating out is becoming more common through cheaper restaurants. With an array of money-saving recipes now available from leading supermarkets and celebrity chefs, families can no longer claim home cooking is too expensive for a family of four. As supermarkets battle against each other to be the cheapest whilst maintaining good quality, their produce is cheaper than ever, whilst some supermarkets offer ‘feed four for under £10’ offers. Now, that’s a price that restaurants can’t contend with.
Providers of dinner sets, Oldrids and Downtown believes that it is import for families to sit down together for a family meal. Maybe it’s time to wipe the dust off our dining tables and start spending some quality time with our families.