Is the family meal an endangered species?

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family meal

DianaApparently, we don’t sit together and eat as a family anymore. Or maybe we do, but only on a Sunday with the roast dinner. Or maybe we only do it at Christmas and Easter, those big events that still demand strict rituals such as having one gut-busting meal all together at the table.

In fact, doing a straw poll of the MyFamilyClub office, it seems that even those with children may only eat with their darling little ones occasionally and the children may even end up eating with only one parent at a time or even with the childminder.

Those of us without kids do without, sharing quick meals with our partners/flatmates on the sofa and glued to Homeland. It wasn’t always like this of course. Sitting together as a family for the main meal of the day was par for the course.

I’m not sure where I stand on this matter though. When I was growing up, I very rarely sat family mealwith my mum to eat dinner. In fact, dinner was usually shared with my older sister, Uncle Phil, Will and the rest of the Fresh Prince cast. I think that, like most mums, her top priority was to get something healthy down our gullets with the minimum of fuss. Eating around the dinner table as a family wasn’t an issue and although we did the big events with assorted wider family squeezed around our too-small table, day to day we were sat on the sofa, eyes glued to the screen.

The question is, did this lack of whole family eating cause major development problems? Surprisingly not, although it must be said that something was missed, however small. Eating is a joyous occasion and when you eat with people you love and who love you, that joy is magnified. Add to that the relationship gurus who tell us about the importance of communication and families who only commit to the big Sunday meal might just be missing a trick.

In fact, without the family meal how would most soaps do the big reveal, or move the plot along? I guess they could it in the pub or the laundrette or the café…

Family restaurantAnyway, at MyFamilyClub we agree with all the science boffins. We know that eating together as a family is a GOOD THING. But we also know that modern families are busy. That’s why we decided to make eating as a family a wee bit easier and a whole lot cheaper by launching our brand new Dining Club.

Families can download vouchers and get discounts such as 20% off your main meal or ‘kids eat free’ deals at 200 restaurants around the country.

Check out our current list of restaurants and find out how to access these discounts for a full year.