Even though I did this as an adult, I was bought up different- phones weren't allowed, the television was off and we'd all talk about our day and chat as a family. Of course I was a little terror and would always talk too much and not eat (sorry dad) but it was the family dynamic that made meal times so special and taught me my current table manners.
We decided once Isla was old enough to stay up and eat dinner with us, we would try to instill the same values we held and aim to eat dinner together at the table as often as possible.
Of course, on nights where we are eating something late or Isla is struggling to stay awake we can always pop her in her highchair and let her eat something quick- the HiPP Organic tray meals are a life saver in these situations. The HiPP Organic tray meals are healthy and nourishing with just the right tastes and textures to encourage the progression to family foods and you can find them here (look out for Isla's favourite "Zoo Animals".
Falling asleep, but still able to eat all her HiPP Zoo Animals!
Now Isla is getting bigger, we feel confident feeding her what we eat and all sit at the table together. It's refreshing to focus on each other and make conversation (again, I still talk too much- sorry Jack!) and we hope that by starting these rituals early, Isla will carry them for years to come.
The team over at HiPP Organic has been doing some research into the topic of family meal times and released this information for me to share with you as part of their wean team:
"Research conducted by HiPP Organic, exclusively for the Wean Team, has found that when it comes to family meal times, 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. 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."
This information speaks to me a lot- while I do hold family mealtime as high importance, it is also not always possible for us due to routine and working hours. Plus- who doesn't love tucking into a roast? Isla has always been so great when we head to a family members house and everyone loves seeing her sitting at the table like a proper part of the group and eating the same as them.
What're your thoughts on family meal times, and how does the research above reflect on your own ideals? I'd love to hear your thoughts!