*This is a commissioned post for Dolmio®*
When I was a child, dinnertime worked very much on the “I’ve cooked it, you need to eat it” system. . . I remember sobbing over a fish pie once but being made to eat it all. I still can’t stand fish. I know I used to drive my Dad absolutely insane with looking at something and saying “I don’t like it” . . . particularly if I’d never even tried it. He used to say “How can you know you don’t like it if you’ve never tried it?“. I now feel his pain. And he thinks it’s hilarious!
Before I was a parent I swore we would never cook multiple meals to please everyone – there would be one choice – eat it or don’t. And for the most part we stick to that. There’s no “Can I have something else instead?” or cooking fish fingers for one when the other is having chicken nuggets. However we do often end up with two evening meals – mainly because during the week, thanks to a million and one after school activities, Dave and I tend to eat later than the kids. What this does mean is that we can eat the things they might not like during the week but then try to have something more “family friendly” on a weekend. Spaghetti Bolognese is a firm favourite in our house – with almost half of the nation’s families agreeing with us that it’s a nutritious easy meal that we can all enjoy. (Dolmio’s Bolognese sauce is a great way to achieve one of your five a day too – bonus!) Who wants to spend their meal debating what the green bits are, arguing about whether it’s spicy or not or negotiating how much dinner needs to be eaten if you want some pudding. (It would seem we’re not alone in using that one as a bargaining tool with 34% of British parents admitting to using dessert as a bribe!*) It doesn’t make for a relaxing family meal does it? * Research conducted by One Poll and commissioned by Dolmio® in August 2017, surveying 2000 UK residents)
Psychologist and family expert Corinne Sweet, highlights that whilst it’s tempting to appease children with a dessert or television, the focus should be on creating a fun, family atmosphere that everyone can get involved with: “try involving children in meal planning, deciding together what you will eat as a family and then getting involved with the preparation and a bit of cooking. Not only will this encourage healthy eating habits for the future, but when children feel involved in decision making they are less likely to throw a tantrum or waste food.” This is something we are keen to encourage in our house – Dave is determined to make sure the kids are better at cooking than I am and often has them helping him out in the kitchen. Ben even gets fully involved in making a Sunday roast now!
We all know that we’re meant to enjoy sitting down for regular family meals around the dining table together, chatting about what we’ve been up to over the week or what plans we have – but the reality isn’t always so perfect. 85& of British parents agree that dinner time is the perfect opportunity for quality time, but research by Dolmio® demonstrates just how dramas are taking over our dinner tables. From fussy eaters to kids who’d rather eat their tea in front of the telly (yes that’s my three for sure) we’ve all been there. Dinnertime isn’t always perfect, in fact it’s often far from it and there are certainly times where I wonder why we’ve bothered – why Dave has spent ages cooking a lovely meal only to not be able to enjoy it for dinnertime disagreements. (Apparently British parents spend a total of one full day a year cooking food that won’t be eaten!)
This Autumn Dolmio® are determined to help us to take the drama out of family meal times by offering up healthy, easy to make meal solutions that will please the whole family. The new Tomato & Basil Chicken Tray Bake is a firm favourite in our house and makes a nice change from pasta (which is our other dinner fail-safe!) Each Chicken Tray Bake pouch is perfect for a family of 4 and is so simple even I can manage it . . . just spread the sauce over your chicken & vegetables then stick it in the oven!
Full tummies and clean plates all round – no dramas!
If you’d like to try the new Chicken Tray Bakes for yourself then crack on and enter this giveaway for a hamper of Dolmio products (to include three flavours of Chicken Tray Bakes, three No Added Sugar Pasta Sauces and one Dolmio Bolognese Sauce). Just complete the Rafflecopter below, ensuring to do this accurately to avoid disqualification.
You can pick up the new range of Chicken Tray Bakes in the supermarket now with an RRSP of £1.49 – and whilst you’re there you can check out the new range of No Added Sugar Pasta Sauces! For more information visit: http://www.dolmio.co.uk/ Or visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dolmio/