Dinner trends are continuously evolving in the UK, with less families sitting down together to eat dinner than ever before – and those that do eat together are moving their family dinner times to the sofa in front of the TV, rather than the dining table. Over 20% of British families only sit down to dinner once or twice a week, and one in five has family meals in front of the television. So, with the dining table sitting unused catching dust, could this be the end of the road for traditional dining rooms?

Social dining, eating out and casual dining are all trends which are on the rise in the UK which is often mirrored in families. The affordability of eating out is a big factor with families – especially with chain restaurants offering a casual and comfortable dining experience that is moderately priced.

But what families might not be aware of, is that a study on The Telegraph, revealed that families who ate dinner in the kitchen or dining room tended to have lower BMI – a measure of obesity equal to your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in metres. Could your dining room be the key to keeping your family healthy?

Oldrids and Downtown, provider of diner sets, highlight the importance of families sitting down together for a family meal. Maybe it’s time to wipe the dust off our dining tables and start spending some quality time with our families.  

A healthier, happier home

Dining at home with your family around the dining table, is a healthier approach to dinner times. With obesity still a very imminent issue across the UK, parents need to be pulling out all the stops to prevent and battle the issue among their children. Nearly 10% of children in their first year of school are obese in England. With figures continuously rising, we need to encourage a healthier lifestyle.  

Families with young children could find that spending time together, around the table at dinner times, will encourage healthier food choices – in fact, a survey found that 9-14 year olds that frequently eat dinner with their families, consumed more fruit and vegetables, as well as less soda and fried foods.

Portion sizes in restaurants are continuing to expand, homemade meals give us the opportunity to control our portions. Studies show that when we are presented with more food, we feel the need to eat more food – and with as much as 60% less calories in a homemade meal than meals outside the home, it’s clear that eating at home is healthier for us.

Juggling school and work commitments can leave little time to be spent together as a family – with 71% of teenagers saying the best part of family dinners is talking, catching up and spending time with family members, dinner times are a great opportunity to get the family together for some quality bonding time. It’s important to make time to spend with your family to ensure healthier relationships between family members.

Money savings

Whilst some families are choosing to eat out because the likes of chain restaurants are becoming a lot more affordable, eating at home will actually save you money. With an array of money saving recipes now available from leading supermarkets and celebrity chefs, families can no longer claim home cooking is too expensive for a family of four. As supermarkets battle against each other to be the cheapest whilst maintaining good quality, their produce is cheaper than ever, whilst some supermarkets offer ‘feed four for under £10’ offers. Now, that’s a price that restaurants can’t contend with.