Whilst almost three quarters (73%) of parents saying eating together is essential, on average, families only get to eat together three times during the week in school term. Could a meal-kit service be the answer?
A big challenge parents face is changing dinnertime routines, and new research from HelloFresh UK has found that despite 73% of British parents saying that it’s really important for them to enjoy dinnertime on school nights as a family, on average families only get to eat together three times a week, with over a quarter (28%) of parents struggling to get their family eating dinner together.
With time on screens becoming more ingrained into children’s lives, this has also changed the battles parents face every day at dinnertime, where three in ten (30%) parents said that screens (iPads, phones, computer games) are the biggest distraction for their children at the dinner table, with almost a quarter (24%) even admitting they let their children have screens (iPads, phones) during dinner.
There’s further hassle with the evening meal as over half of parents (54%) said that they struggle to get their family eating the same food for dinner, with one in five (20%) adding that they cook multiple dinners every evening to work around their children’s busy evening schedules.
Every parent has an endless number of household chores and evening tasks to complete and for British parents, almost half (49%) agree that sourcing, preparing and cooking the family dinner is the most stressful task during school term evenings, with 47% claiming they cut corners and don’t have time to scratch cook, so use what’s in the freezer.
As well as sorting dinner, topping the stressful to-do list is; clearing up after dinner (44%), helping with homework (39%) and doing bath time for their children (31%) - the research found that on average, parents spend longer clearing up after dinner (37 minutes), than spending one-on-one time with their children on school evenings (31 minutes).
It comes as no surprise that parents are suffering from the ‘School Night Slog’ during term-time. Defined as feeling stressed during the school week because of the array of activities and household jobs that lead to busy, stressful evenings - the ‘School Night Slog’ is a reality for lots of households around the UK, where almost half (48%) of parents have three or more nights a week where they suffer from the ‘School Night Slog’.
Andre Dupin, Head Chef at HelloFresh UK said of the findings: “It’s a massive juggling act for parents during the school term, who are pulled from pillar to post and constantly thinking about the things that must get done in the evening. We’re not surprised to see that families are struggling to eat together and parents’ quality time with their children is scarce - with 29% getting 20 minutes or less of one-on-one time with no distractions, with their children each day.
“At HelloFresh UK we’re on a mission to get families enjoying their dinner time! Preparing your evening meal with your children is a great way to claw back some precious quality time with them and it’s a way to involve them in meal planning, to make sure they’re looking forward to dinner time. The HelloFresh family recipes start from as quick as 15 minutes, starting from just £3.44 per person for three meals, with plenty of child-friendly recipes tried and tested by family and kids, even the fussiest ones! This includes the Crumbed Chicken Dippers and Rosemary Wedges and Baked Bean and Corn Quesadillas.”