Top Tips For Family Time During Weeknight Meals

April 17, 2018

More Australian’s than ever are struggling to find time to cook during the working week, with new research by Australian Beef revealing that over half (58%) of Aussie families are instead taking the easy option with takeaways and TV meals at least twice a week.
According to psychologist Dr Fiona Martin, this new trend can have negative impacts on families, couples and individuals as eating a home cooked meal at the table promotes health and wellbeing and  helps to develop communication and social skills, especially for children.

To help Aussies fall back in love with home cooked dinners during the week, Dr Martin has provided her top tips for optimising midweek mealtimes, mixing up midweek routines to cook more often, and the best ways to make the time to cook and eat dinner together during the week. See below.

  • Establish work and social boundaries – Research from Australian Beef found that socialising with friends (35%) and the pressures of working late (53%) are the main reason we abandon cooking in the week. The modern world is forever connected so it is more important than ever to set work and social boundaries. First things first, turn off all phones and tech gadgets when you start cooking and during dinnertime. The time to unwind and connect with family will benefit your relationship, personal mental health and ultimately work quality.
  • Eat at a table – Research by Australian Beef found that 52% of the nation eats their evening meal in front of the TV which this means we’re not reaping the rewards of eating at the dinner table. Not only is it a great way to spend quality time together, but it also develops communication skills, builds social skills and encourages healthy eating.
  • Eat mindfully – Sitting at the dinner table (or modern equivalent such as a bar table) and mindfully enjoying your midweek meal relieves the stress of the day and promotes healthy eating habits.
  • Find a routine for you – Use these tips to find the right dinnertime routine that works for you and your schedule. It may take a while to test out different approach’s, for example whether planning on a weekend is better for you or planning day by day is fine, but if you stick to it, you’ll soon establish a routine for cooking and eating together which will ultimately benefit you health and your finances.
Dr Fiona Martin
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