Is This The Death Of The Dining Room?*

*This is a collaborative post*

How many of you reading this actually sit down to eat your dinner as a family? 

Dinner trends are continuously evolving in the UK, with apparently less families sitting down together to eat dinner than ever before. Those that do eat together have a tendency to eat from the comfort of their sofa, TV in front of them, instead of gathering around the dining table. 

Over 20% of British families only sit down to dinner once or twice a week, and one in five have their family meal in front of the television. I know myself how difficult it can be to get the whole family around the table especially at the same time. So, with the dining table sitting unused and catching dust, could this be the end of the road for traditional dining rooms?

Social dining, eating out and casual dining are all trends which are on the rise in the UK which is often mirrored in families. Eating out is becoming more and more affordable with many chain restaurants offering casual and comfortable dining experience at a moderate price! Cost and an easier life is a big factor with families.

But what families might not be aware of, is that a study on TheTelegraph, revealed that families who ate dinner in the kitchen or dining room tended to have lower BMI - a measure of obesity equal to your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in metres. 

So does this mean your dining room could be the key to keeping your family healthier?

Provider of dinner setsOldrids and Downtown, highlight the importance of families sitting down together for a 'good old' family meal. Maybe it’s time to wipe the dust off our dining tables and start spending some quality time with our families.  

A healthier, happier home

Dining at home with your family around the dining table, is an enjoyable and healthier approach to dinner times. With obesity still a prominent issue across the UK, parents need to be pulling out all the stops to prevent and battle the issue among their children. Shockingly, 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.  

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.

Portion sizes in fast food establishments and restaurants are continuing to expand - go large anyone? - whereas homemade meals give us the opportunity to actually control our portions. 

Studies show that when we are presented with more food, we feel the need to eat more - 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 a much healthier option.

Of course juggling school and work commitments can leave little time to be spent together as a family – with 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, but make a rule for no mobile phones or electronic devices. Spending time with your family is paramount if you want to maintain healthy relationships. 

Money savings

Some families choose to eat out because they believe it's the cheaper option especially with the likes of chain restaurants becoming a lot more affordable. However, eating at home will actually save you money. With an array of money saving recipes now available from leading supermarkets and celebrity chefs, families can no longer claim home cooking to be too expensive. As supermarkets battle against each other to be the cheapest whilst still maintaining good quality, their produce is now cheaper than ever. Some supermarkets offer ‘feed four for under £10’ offers too. Now, that’s a price that restaurants can’t contend with. 

*This is a guest post edited by GGD

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