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Gather the family and eat together!

Health Family Dinner Habits

With everyone’s schedules different it can sometimes be hard to find the time to sit down as a family and enjoy some quality time together. Did you know that there are some great health benefits to sitting down together and enjoying a family meal? We’ve put together some of the health benefits your family can enjoy as well as some tips to help get you started!

Five benefits for your family

  • Spending time with your family is vital and mealtimes can provide the perfect environment for children to learn how to connect and communicate with you, as it gives them a secure and safe environment for them to open up.
  • Children tend to eat better and try new foods when they eat with others so you can sneak in nutrient-rich foods, vegetables and fruits.
  • Eating together can provide longer health benefits and has been shown to reduce depression and improve self-esteem.
  • Taking some time out of your busy day and spending time with your family can also be a stress buster for you and can be a great time to wind down for the evening.
  • Eating together as a family regularly can be a great opportunity to teach your children good table manners, as well as teach them about family values and traditions.

Five top tips to help you get in a good routine

  • Start by scheduling one meal per week to sit down together as a family and gradually increase this over a period of time.
  • Get the kids involved and make it fun to help out with the preparation of meals, they can then look forward to sitting down to a meal they have helped make. This also gives them important life skills later on.
  • When you plan a family meal, schedule it in on your calendar as you would with other events, that way everyone in the family knows about it.
  • Turn off any distractions at mealtimes like the TV, tablets, phones and computers.
  • Keep all mealtimes positive and this will encourage children to talk about their day.

Try this perfect pancake recipe from BBC Good Food and get the kids involved!

Serves: 8

Difficulty Level: Easy

Timing: 5 mins prep, 25 mins cook


  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 300ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil or vegetable, plus extra for frying
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Put 100g plain flour and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Make a well in the centre and crack 2 eggs into the middle.
  3. Pour in about 50ml from the 300ml of semi-skimmed milk and 1 tbsp sunflower oil then start whisking from the centre, gradually drawing the flour into the eggs, milk and oil. Once all the flour is incorporated, beat until you have a smooth, thick paste. Add a little more milk if it is too stiff to beat.
  4. Add a good splash of milk and whisk to loosen the thick batter. While still whisking, pour in a steady stream of the remaining milk. Continue pouring and whisking until you have a batter that is the consistency of slightly thick single cream.
  5. Heat the pan over moderate heat, then wipe it with oiled kitchen paper.
  6. Ladle some batter into the pan, tilting the pan to move the mixture around for a thin and even layer. Quickly pour any excess batter into the mixing bowl, return the pan to the heat.
  7. Leave to cook, undisturbed, for about 30 secs. If the pan is the right temperature, the pancake should turn golden underneath after about 30 secs and will be ready to turn.
  8. Hold the panhandle, ease a palette knife under the pancake, then quickly lift and flip it over. Make sure the pancake is lying flat against the base of the pan with no folds, then cook for another 30 secs before turning out onto a warm plate.
  9. Continue with the rest of the batter, serving them as you cook or stack onto a plate. You can freeze the pancakes for 1 month, wrapped in cling film or make them up to a day ahead.

Source: BBC Good Food

Don’t forget your toppings though! A traditional lemon and sugar combination always goes down a treat but Nutella and strawberries can also be a winner!

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The health of your family is important and Private Health Insurance can give you peace of mind if they become ill. Don’t just take a backseat, find out how little Private Health Insurance could cost you.

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