Tips to Make the Most of Dinner Time January 18, 2017

by Meryl Singleton Lunch & Dinner

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Does this picture feel far from what your evenings are like? 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 dinner time together doesn’t have to be complicated! That’s why we created the #DinnerTimeChallenge: 30 days for the nation to commit to spending dinner time with their family or household as much as possible.

We’ve been working with the very clever Professor Jane Ogden: Professor in Health Psychology; University of Surrey; author of The Good Parenting Food Guide, who has spent a lot of her career looking at the benefits that sitting down with your family and household.

Here are some of her top tips for making dinner time easy:

  • Eat at the same time each day (when possible).  This way people can learn to manage their hunger and realise that eating is more satisfying if you are hungry at the start
  • Eat at a table. This way food will become ‘attached’ to the table and people will be less likely to snack or eat on the go in between meals
  • Make meals about chatting not the food.  If a family member is picky about food, give them the same as everyone else, but don’t make a fuss, don’t talk about it, just chat about the day and eventually they will eat what everyone else is eating.
  • Cook from scratch as often as possible (not ready meals or thas to be good enough. That’s where HelloFresh comes into its own – they take all of the hassle out of cooking and shopping for ingredients, leaving you to focus on creating delicious meals that you can enjoy together
  • Keep calm and carry on: If someone persists in not liking something (‘I still don’t like broccoli’), continue to cook it, put it on their plate but don’t make a fuss if they don’t eat it.  Eventually, by the time they have grown up, they will! Also. think about inviting friends round for tea and give them all broccoli. Peer pressure is very powerful.
  • Keep it consistent: Try to cook everyone the same food, but if your family have different preferences cook one person’s favourite one day and another’s favourite the next.
  • Allow a treat occasionally: If people really want to eat on their knee in front of the TV, let them – but only occasionally and don’t make a big deal about it.
  • Arm yourself: Try to get together 10 simple family meals that take no more than 30 minutes).  That way it will always seem manageable to cook even when you are tired or busy or just fed up with the routine of it all. Most of HelloFresh’s recipes can be cooked in around 30 minutes and you know that you’ll be serving up something that is both nutritious and delicious.

So, don’t just take it from us. Dinner time with your household can be simple and easy to tackle – and eventually, it’ll be routine and you’ll think of TV dinners as a thing of the past (well, almost)…

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