Family meal times: How important are they?

family-meal-times

I remember growing up and we’d all watch Neighbours on BBC1 straight after which was tea time. We all as a family moved from the lounge to the kitchen, usually as Dad arrived home, and sat down at a table. While we ate we talked. No TV in the Kitchen. No Facebook. No interruptions.

We used to talk about anything and everything. School. Scouts. Holidays. Who was walking the dog that evening. I can’t help but feel that these times for many families are lost forever.

Its not a family event yet

Research conducted by HiPP Organic, has found that when it comes to family meal times, almost 90% of parents say that eating together as a family is very important.

Family meal times is something that helps knit a family, something we both have fond memories of and a tradition we wish to continue as much as possible.

HiPP Organic found that despite the importance, only 25% actually manage to sit down and eat dinner together 1-2 times a week and like most families, we find that work often gets in the way.

With G-Man eating at 5pm it’s a little too early for us all to sit down and eat together. Sometimes I’m stuck on the motorway, other days Jane isn’t due in from work until 9:30pm, so we do find our mealtimes a little spread out more than the average family.

In fact it is only G-Man and our dog who ALWAYS share the same mealtime… sometimes even the same meals!

Meal time distractions

More recently we’ve found that Little G is now at the age where playing with a bowl and spoon is no longer enough to keep him interested during meal times and he needs something more advanced to stimulate his mind.

Meal time distractions

Mega Block, stacking cups and Jazz & Cinema Radio are our current first port of calls, while we all sit down trying to coax just one more mouthful.

There are the odd occasion when these distractions don’t cut the mustard and we have to admit to reverting to the Amazon Firestick for a dose of Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom or the dreaded Peppa Pig, usually to get him to finish off his yogurt and vitamins.

The good old Sunday Roast

The British roast dinner came out as a firm family favourite in HiPPs research with 42% of respondents saying it was a favourite. At 15%, Curry was second followed closely by pasta dishes (13%) as our most loved meals.

Right now, for us a Sunday Roast is out of the question. This coming weekend for example, it’ll be me and the Little Man as Jane is working both Saturday and Sunday.

If I were to prepare a Sunday roast (I love cooking too!) Little G would be stuck in his walker keeping him out of trouble, but instead we plan to go to the zoo.

Luckily, G-Man won’t miss out on the great british tradition as HiPP Organic have it covered with their Scrumptious Sunday Lunch jar.

Although we do a lot of batch cooking ourselves, we’re finding more and more, the convenience of HiPPs tray meals. Knowing they are healthy and nourishing with just the right tastes and textures to encourage the progression to family foods, they’re the obvious choice when we’re in a rush.

Spoon! Boom!

Keeping food interesting

Something we learned in the early days of our weaning journey was the importance of keeping food interesting. HiPP Organic is the only brand to offer pasta shapes (zoo animals, alphabet, numbers), in a unique ‘Ristorante La Mamma’ range of traditionally rolled and layered meals.

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. Pretty intense!

We often play “spot the animal” when we come back from the Zoo using the animal pasta shapes which occasionally distracts Little G to the point he eats them all without even noticing.

The alphabet and numbers are a little advanced for him at the moment, but we do try to spell out his name and other words such as “WOOF” whilst pointing at Edie just to try to encourage him.

View the HiPP Organic website for their full range of HiPP Organics Tray Meals.

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