I’d say we all eat tea (dinner?!) together 90% of the time. There are odd nights when Husband and I will have a takeaway or cook something special to have a home date night. On these occasions, the kids have either a turkey dinosaur tea or something out of the freezer from another night. Spaghetti Bolognese is their favourite, so I always freeze the leftovers. But, day to day we eat together.
Eating as a family is something that I really believe in. Don’t get me wrong; I love the date nights. The kids go to bed early, and we get to cook together or eat in peace. It’s fantastic. But, it’s also great eating with the kids. I won’t even say we all sit around a table and talk. We don’t have room for a table, and we quite often leave the TV on. I sometimes read a book while we eat as it’s literally the only time of the day everyone else shuts up. But I still think it’s essential. Here’s why.
To Introduce New Foods
This is basically what my blog is all about. Easy, nutritious homemade food that everyone can enjoy. It’s important to remember that nutritious doesn’t have to mean salads and vegetables. It can be a comforting casserole with mash. As long as it’s fresh and there are lots of veggies thrown in. Nutritious also means varied. Five fruits and veg a day doesn’t mean five bananas, it means five different fruit and veg.
To Stop the Fussy
Fussy eaters make me a bit sad. Because I eat everything, I just think they’re missing out. I won’t say that kids that eat with their parents will never be fussy because I think they do pick things up. Michael still eats most things, but now he’s a little older he’ll say, “I don’t like the look of that” and sorta decides before he’s even tried it. But, he isn’t terrible.
I love that they try most things. And I think this is because it’s normal. We sit and eat something different at least once a week. This isn’t special or weird. It’s totally normal for them. They’ve tried so many different flavours.
They’re Easier to Take Out
When we go out for a meal, we never have to think “where’s kid-friendly? “or “what will the kids eat?”. Sometimes the kids are easier to cater for than the adults we’re with, and because they eat with us every night, they’re used to sitting and eating a meal in adult company.
Michael has started to really enjoy helping in the kitchen, and I think a large part of this is that well eat together, and he’s around when I’m cooking a lot. It’s a nice thing that we can do together.
They’re Interested in Food
I think this is super important. Kids won’t show an interest in food, or healthy eating if they are eating the same boring kid’s food all of the time. If it’s new and different, they ask questions. I think it also helps them to develop healthy food habits. They see us eating well, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and they learn to do the same.
It Helps Us Eat Healthier
If we didn’t eat with the kids, our food would probably be much fattier, contain more salt, and we’d eat massive portions. Eating with the kids, them eating what we do, and seeing our portions helps us to regulate ourselves a little.
It’s Cheaper to Eat as a Family
Quite simply, it costs less to make four people one meal than to make two meals.
Even if we don’t talk to each other. If I’m reading and husbands on his phone and the kids are glued to the TV (not always I might add!) it’s nice to sit together in the same room eating as a family. If one of us wants to talk, we’re there. It’s also lovely for us because until the last year husband was never home for tea and now he near enough always is.
Eating as a Family, both at home or out is a lovely thing to do. It helps everyone eat well and healthily, it gets you talking, and it ensures the kids grow up with an interest in foods. It’s something that I hope we continue to do for a long time and that I hope my recipes help others to do.