Nadia says

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Children in New Zealand are missing out on precious family dinnertime as the evening tradition of sharing a meal together becomes more of a luxury than a given.

Independent research commissioned by My Food Bag involving more than 1000 parents, grandparents, caregivers and children nationwide, reveals that 79% of Kiwi kids wish they could have more family dinners together and 98% say they enjoy sitting down to dinner together as a family.

The research findings reveal fewer than half of New Zealand children are eating with their family every night, compared to a generation ago when three quarters ate with both parents every night.

Advertisement Dietician and mum, Nadia Lim says the results reveal a lot about modern life where parents are busy at work and eating in front of the TV or device is more common than sitting around a table. “We are eating less meals together than we were a generation ago and Kiwi kids are missing out on family dinnertime. They love family dinners and wish they could have more of them. Many families are starved for time together and the dinner table often offers the only chance for kids to reconnect with their parents,” she says.

“When I was growing up, dinner times were an occasion – the dinner table was a place of conversation and good food. Now, with Bodhi two years old, we want him to have the same experience and, we find dinner time is much happier and relaxed when we make a point of sitting down together without any distractions.”

Unfortunately, modern lifestyles mean parents are home less often for
dinner – in fact, only 52% surveyed are eating at home every night. When they are at home, 83% are distracted, on devices and social media, or glued to the TV. The research suggests this creates feelings of pressure and makes evening meals more stressful.

Interestingly, it’s cooking together that really builds a connection.
According to the survey, 61% of kids who get involved in preparing the
meal say it’s a great time to talk to their parents about their day, compared with 50% of children who don’t get involved. Parents benefit too when they get their kids involved, 38% say prepping dinner is not stressful compared to just 22% of parents who do the meal preparation and cooking alone.

Source: My Food Bag and the Sunday Star-times