Home drama:

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

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TASSIE LIVING -

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

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