How to spend time at the dinner table during life changing moments October 24, 2019

by Hattie Learn

In a recent survey, we asked the British public about their eating habits and whether or not they change during big life moments.

 

While, of course, it’s almost guaranteed a life change will throw things off course for a little while, we were surprised to hear just how big of an impact it has on our dinner rituals.

19% of the people asked admitted to never eating with loved ones around the dinner table, while ⅓ of new parents (a life change that unquestionably alters people’s routine) cooked whatever was fastest, and 42% said they ate irregularly. 

Flying the nest also has a great effect on our eating habits, the survey showed. 

While leaving the childhood home brings new-found freedom, 52% admitted to cooking less than one to two times a week, and one in three said their diet included more fried and fatty foods. 

Managing a life change can certainly be tricky and we have to be flexible while we find our feet, however eating around the dinner table is a great chance to allow yourself to be present, put your basic needs foremost and take a stand against feelings of stress and anxiety. 

Here is our list of simple tricks that will help make time for eating at the dinner table and, by doing so, bring some well-need routine during your biggest life changes. 

1. Start by scheduling once a week

You can increase the number when you are able to, but aiming for one long meal at the dinner table once a week is a great way to set an achievable goal. 

 2. Encourage children to help prepare dinner

Children are more likely to eat the foods they help you prepare and cooking together is a way to connect with each other and have fun – great when you’re going through a busy time. 

Our family-friendly sweet and sour pork is a good place to start, and it’s on the menu this week! 

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3. Keep the meals simple

Independence is fun, but cooking for yourself for the first time can be overwhelming. With an abundance of recipes online, where do you start? Quick and easy meals that require little preparation are great for novice cooks keen to replicate mum and dad’s wholesome dinners.  

Head to our recipe hub for some inspiration. One of our favourites is this oven-baked risotto, pop it in the oven and forget about it until it’s time to eat – great for aspiring cooks and new parents alike! 

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4. Togetherness, not timing

Eating at the dinner table doesn’t have to be at the same time every single night.

That only adds stress when plans inevitably change. Why not try setting yourself a two or three-hour window to allow for the unexpected.

5. Double up on dinner

Double your ingredients and freeze one for later in the week, or steam extra veggies and put them in the fridge to add to a pasta salad the next day. You’ll thank your former self when times get chaotic and that way you’ll be able to spend more time at the table.

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