Friday 23 September 2016

Family mealtimes

Family life can be hectic. Amongst juggling work, household chores, school, extracurricular activities and family fun, parents have the important role of ensuring their children are well fed. Thanks to the hecticness of family life it can be a struggle to find the time and inclination (or have all family members home at the same time) to sit down together as a whole family for mealtimes.

Research conducted by HiPP Organic, exclusively for the Wean Team, has found that when it comes to family mealtimes, 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.

Whilst family life is very busy for us, with evenings especially being very hectic of late as Bug participates in a number of extracurricular classes away from and after school such as fun football, swimming classes and athletics which means mummy is taxi with Jelly Bean comes along for the ride, we strive to sit down for meal times every night as a family.

Even on busy nights when we are home late or rushing out for some activity or event I make sure we still sit down together to eat the evening meal. To help make mealtimes on busy nights stress free I prepare meals in advance and make use of my stash of frozen homemade meals….and on the odd occasion we enjoy quick foods such as pizza or a cheeky yet totally tasty takeaway.

Family mealtimes are important to me. The time we spend together eating as a family can be a welcome relief to the hecticness of the day being a brief respite when we can simply sit, eat and chat.

There are many benefits to sitting down together as a family for mealtimes - time together, a chance to talk, teach table manners to children, monitor healthy eating, encourage eating a variety of foods and trying new foods, and cost effective. The benefit I appreciate and value the most is the time together when we can chat about our day, talk about any worries and make plans for fun times without a TV on distracting us from each other.

In my opinion sitting down as a family to eat has helped Jelly Bean wean and start eating food as he has watched us all eat and now wants to try new foods with delight.

Our family's favourite meal is spaghetti Bolognese with roast dinner coming a very close second. HiPP Organic s survey found that 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. Seeing the results HiPP Organic were especially pleased that roast dinner and curry came out on top as HiPP already has this covered for little ones thanks to their Scrumptious Sunday Lunch jar and Mild Tomato & Chicken Curry: 

On the whole Jelly Bean now eats exactly like the rest of the family, being happy, competent and excited about eating anything and everything! On the odd occasion he does not eat the family food served he enjoys HiPP Organic tray meals which are especially handy on evenings when things are very hectic and time is limited for mealtime.

The HiPP Organic tray meals are healthy and nourishing with just the right tastes and textures to encourage the progression to family foods. We love that HiPP Organic is the only brand to offer pasta shapes (zoo animals, alphabet, numbers), unique ‘Ristorante La Mamma’ range of traditionally rolled and layered meals. The full range of Tray Meals can be found on the HiPP website.

Eating HiPP Organic meals I can feel reassured Jelly Bean is eating nutritious and quality food as 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.

Jelly Bean loves eating at the table with his family especially as his big brother chats to him and shares sweet treats with him for pudding after eating their meals.

Do you believe family mealtimes are important? 

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