It’s the constant battle that plays out in homes around the country every night – time-poor, working parents trying to serve nutritious, appetising meals for dinner that every member of the family will happily eat. So what’s the best strategy to win this
It’s a constant battle for time-poor parents trying to serve nutritious, appetising meals to satisfy every member of the family
“Mum, what’s for dinner?”
It’s the cry that carries across the land, cutting to the core of every working parent. In our era of finicky eaters, dietary quirks and unpredictable schedules, family mealtimes have become a high-wire act. No longer will chops and a couple of vegetables do.
Between shopping for ingredients, organising special meals, and dealing with children and adults more critical of your handiwork than a bitter food reviewer, family dinners can place tremendous pressure on cooks.
And yet the positives of home-cooked meals make it all worthwhile. Eating dinner together benefits families – physically, mentally and emotionally – and saves money in the process.
Just as the modern family has changed over the past 50 years, so too has what it eats.
Rewind a few decades and typical grocery items included flour, sugar, rice, tea, tomato soup, spaghetti and baked beans, and these were generally home delivered until the advent of the supermarket in the 1960s.
We’re still eating flour and sugar, of course, but they now come processed, and served up in a mind-boggling array of options. It’s this proliferation of products that food historian Professor Barbara Santich says has irrevocably changed the concept of family meals.
“The sheer variety of foods has multiplied, along with the ways of