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Below is the first of many post's on our new blog! Please give it a read if you have a spare few minutes, we promise you it's a good read, these include our thouhts on cooking as a company. We are happy to recieve any feedback.

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FIVE REASONS TO GET THE FAMILY AROUND THE TABLE FOR DINNER...

Christmas seems like a distant memory now, and for many it was the ideal opportunity to get everyone around the table to enjoy a fantastic festival meal as one big happy family.

But getting together in an evening to ‘break bread’ shouldn’t always be left to a special occasion, if there’s an opportunity to enjoy food with others.

Obviously, it depends on circumstances, but for those wanting to get the family around the table for dinner, what are you waiting for? Get messaging, agree a date soon, and mark it down in the calendar!

Getting together can provide so many health and social benefits, and it’s a wonderful tradition we want to keep strong at our restaurants in Honley. So, here are our reasons why we think it’s important to pull up a chair to enjoy a meal as one.

  1. It’s good to talk

If you’re anything like us, you’ll be interested in people and the stories they tell. So, what better way to do this than around the dinner table?

Hearing a family member’s latest tale from work, or talking through a friend’s relationship concerns are key elements of building deeper connections – and they go a long way towards people feeling supported, and that others are looking out for them.

Many of us have fond memories of being at the table as a group, sharing a funny story. It’s important to keep that traditional alive – even if you’re strapped for time and ‘life’ gets in the way. The benefits can be exponential.

  1. Developing children

There’s often no greater feeling than sitting with your family – especially your youngsters – at dinnertime.

Seeing them enjoying their food and chatting about the day at school they’ve had are hugely important in encouraging them to open up – and for you to show you’re interested in what they have to say.

If you have much younger children, mealtimes can help to develop key social skills such as holding cutlery correctly, drinking from a cup and learning all about the kind of food they’re eating through smell, touch and taste.

Talking to them one-to-one is a great way of building a parent and child relationship – if that’s over food, all the better!

  1. Eating healthily

Scheduling sit-downs for evenings or first thing in a morning goes a long way towards people following a better diet. Let’s face it, you won’t be snacking or rushing a ‘bite on the go’ if you’re at the table.

Studies have also shown that those who eat with others, tend to eat more fruit and vegetables and make nutritional choices because they’re conscious of what they’re eating – and how much – and have a healthier relationship with meals.

  1. Encouraging cooking together

Even if you have a ‘resident chef’ in the house, meal preparation shouldn’t always come down to one person – share the load and get others to bring their culinary skills to life!

If you’re with friends, maybe setup a rota system to pull on the apron or task them with bringing along a part of the meal (such as a dessert or starter) to let everyone contribute.

Alternatively, teenagers might fancy cooking up a storm. As long as they’re supervised – should they need to be – let them take the reins and feel a sense of dinnertime responsibility. You never know, it could ignite a career passion!

If you plan ahead, it gives you chance to look forward to the occasion – so make sure you get your meal booked into family and friends’ calendars!

  1. Experiencing a digital detox

Everyone has some form of an online device nowadays – but that doesn’t mean it must be present at the dinner table.

In fact, putting your phone or tablet in another room while you eat with others can help to provide a much-needed screen break. It also shows that you’re present in the room and are hopefully more willing to join in with conversation – rather than be stuck scrolling through the latest cat videos (admittedly, we do LOVE these!).

There’s nothing worse than working hard to prepare a meal only for your guests to not really saviour it because they’re constantly distracted by their mobiles or the TV.

We get that we live in a world full of hustle and bustle, but there are so many benefits to taking the time to sit around the table with others.

Start now and factor in a couple of hours each night or 30 minutes first thing in the morning. You’ll soon start to realise how enjoyable it can be when you pause to enjoy a tasty meal and some conversation!