Meal time still the heart of family life

Meal time still the heart of family life

In our survey of 2,000 UK adults, seven in ten (69%) say they have an evening meal as a family at least once a week, with 41% saying they do this every day. Especially for the ‘traditional family’ (two parents with kids), meal time remains at the heart of family life with 57% saying they eat dinner as a family every day, and 94% making the effort at least once a week.

ImageFamily meal time

In households where there are children aged 18+, family meal time seems to become less regular, with only a third (34%) of Brits in these households saying they eat their evening meal as a family every day.

Other common aspects of family life that most Britons seemed to recognize in their situation included watching TV together (71% did this at least once a week), eating breakfast together (57%) and cooking together (45%).

However, other aspects seem to be less common, with only a third (35%) saying they go on a family outing at least once a week and half (52%) saying they do not exercise with their family at all.

Family meal time

When we asked Britons about their family meal time, 65% of UK adults say they chat with their family while they eat together, showing that for many the cornerstone of family life is to sit down, eat and discuss.

On the other hand, many also rely on entertainment while they are eating, with two in five (39%) saying they eat in front of the TV as a family, which is slightly higher among younger Britons (18-34) (51%).

However, for those that eat dinner as a family less often than once a week or not at all, just under half (46%) say this is because they do not have any family nearby. Outside of this the main reasons appear to be because family members all want dinner at different times (13%) and some like different things so they eat separate meals (10%).

Family meal time

Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,003 UK adults aged 18+ from 28th to 30th October 2014. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.