Having meals together around the table is something that has always been important to me. Even before I had children I knew it was a tradition I’d like to create. It wasn’t something that happened in my home, but it was something I was part of in extended family and friends meal times. I loved it. I loved the feeling of family and being there for each other, chatting about our day. It is not just for families, it’s also important for couples to eat together too. Chat about your day, I am a firm believer in the family that eats together stays together. When HelloFresh got in contact about doing a 30 day #DinnerTimeChallenge I was in full support and jumped at the chance.
HelloFresh teamed with the a Professor in Health Psychology at the University of Surrey, Jane Ogden, who is also the author of The Good Parenting. Together they are trying to get more families to eat together every night or at least a few nights a week if possible. The DinnerTimeChallenge is to commit to spending 30 days eating dinner together as a family so that you too can experience the benefits. Hopefully this will encourage healthier food choices, the kids to be a bit more adventurous with their food and just to feel a bit more connected as a family.
Due to both my husband and I working, we are unable to have dinner together every evening. On the days I’m at work, the children have dinner together, that their grandparents make for them. On these nights, my husband, Robert and I will have dinner together. I feel it’s equally as important for my husband and I to have that quality time together and chat about our day. Now, we both work for the same company, but we always have chats about our day, current affairs, etc. I feel this helps your relationship, grow and stay strong. On my days off and at the weekend, I make sure we eat together. Of course there are those occasions when something comes up, kids parties, night’s out, etc. But, dinnertime together important to me and since we can’t do it everyday, we make the most of those day we can. The kids love sitting down together and having dinner, we take turns to chat about our day, something positive and something we weren’t so keen on, but always finishing on a positive.
I have to admit, I wasn’t too sure what to expect from HelloFresh when the food arrived. I knew what dishes I’d chosen, but thought they’d come through in the online supermarket style and everything would come through in mixed bags. Boy, was I wrong. Everything comes in one box and a well made box at that. They kids have loved playing with the boxes once the food it out. The fresh food, meat, cream, etc comes bag with ice bags to keep it cold. We have the 4 meal per week family box. So, our delivery comes with 4 brown bags, each sealed with a colour co-ordinated label. The label coincides with the recipe cards which are also colour co-ordinated. It is genius. Within the bag, you have every single ingredient you will need to recreate the dish on the recipe card. With the exception of oil, salt and pepper. Everything else, from stock, to vinegar, herbs and spices, vegetables, fruit, meat is all included in the bag.
The recipes are simple and easy to follow. The steps take you through it thoroughly and take the stress out of cooking fresh, healthy and tasty food. Above is the first one I made, which was Indian Mince Lamb Koftas with Coconut Pilaf and minty yoghurt. It was fantastic. We have all been trying out new dishes we wouldn’t normally have tried, let alone cooked. The children have tried a few new vegetables and dishes, that I would have worried about making and them not liking. It has expanded both our tastes and I’ve learned a few new dishes to add to my repertoire. I even learnt to make red onion gravy for the dish below. Sizzling Honey Mustard Sausages with Sweet Potato Mash and Red Onion Gravy, anyone?
My middle child, Tyler, loves to cook and has helped with the meal prep for a few of these. He’s not quite comfortable with the frying pan, but has certainly helped and reading the instructions is great for encouraging other reading skills too. I feel my children should know how to cook too. What I love about HelloFresh is that they provide pre-measured ingredients and the step by step instructions for meals that take an average of just 30 minutes to prepare and cook. It doesn’t take long, but we all know we can’t do this every night, but we can give it a go. We also ban technology from the table at every meal. It is important we concentrate on each other and not gazing at a screen, replying to tweets or texts. Half and hour is all we ask, it’s doable right?
HelloFresh did a recent study on the eating habits of our country. There are more than a few statistics on here that will shock you I’m sure as they did me. You can read the full report over on the HelloFresh blog.
The first one that shocked me was that 50% of British parents do not eat with their children at all. Why? Another 14% of parents say their children’s table manners are so bad that they don’t want to eat with them! Then teach them? I could go on and on, but it would just infuriate me. I won’t have my children eating in their room. Yes, we’ve done the occasional pizza and film dinner in the living room, but I try as hard as I can and when possible for us to eat as a family. How do you feel about this?
Another finding in the report was that a lot of families ate different meals. Now I know kids can be fussy eaters, we all have one and at some point we probably were one, but if they see you eating something and enjoying it, they are more likely to ask to try it. Same with vegetables, it’s all set by example. If you don’t like vegetables, etc, chances are your kids don’t either. It’s all about trying new things yourself, even if you don’t, you stick to the same 7 meal rotation, the least you can do it have meal times together. I am sure you do. Like I’ve said it’s not always feasible, but when we can, we will.
We are about to go into our third week of the DinnerTimeChallenge and I have to say I am loving it, we are loving it. Trying new foods, making more of an effort to eat together, to chat and to make good food from scratch. If they children aren’t keen on the foods, then we ask them to try, we don’t make a big deal out of it, but to be honest, they have enjoyed at least something on their plate. It’s been enlightening to say the least.
We have been getting the HelloFresh family boxes, which feeds four and comes with 4 meals each week. With Aria having a smaller appetite, the family box has been enough for all 5 of us. It is excellent value for money and if you have anything left over you can freeze for another time. The shelf life on the food and the veg is far beyond what I’d expect from an online supermarket delivery. I was really surprised by this.
All in all we have loved taking part in the DinnerTimeChallenge and will continue for the next 30 days. And beyond. Will you give it a go?
We have loved> HelloFresh family boxes, it’s definitely as subscription I will be looking at taking home beyond our trial. It’s simple, cost effective and the food is great. Each week there are different meals and you can choose which one of the 5 meals you’d like to receive. The link takes you to a free trial of HelloFresh, why not give it a go? I’d love to know what you think of it.
For me dinnertime as a family is important, it’s about being together and talking as a family. A point of communication is opened and if you keep that line open, it will set you all in good stead for years to come, especially those difficult teen years. I want us to have this as a tradition they love. One we can chat and enjoy each other’s company, uninterrupted. Not only that, but it’s important as a couple. You need some alone time. Technology is an important part of our lives, but spending time with our families is more important, talking, playing and making memories. This is what the DinnerTime Challenge means to me.
Do you sit down with your children for a meal? Maybe you work shifts, how does it work for you? Will you take the DinnerTimeChallenge?
Disclaimer:- I was given a subscription for 2 months to HelloFresh. All words and opinions are my own. This is something I feel strongly about.