The routine of families sharing an evening meal together round the dining table has almost died out, new research has found.
Instead of mulling over the day's news with mum and dad at a shared mealtime, a staggering 1 in 4 children are instead eating their evening meal in their bedroom.
Birds Eye, who conducted the survey, found that only one in five British youngsters eat at a table, compared to 7 per cent in France, 42 per cent in Germany, 61 per cent in Italy and 40 per cent in Spain. For 78 per cent of the youngsters polled, a TV dinner is the norm, with meals taken in front of their favourite shows - this is compared to 61 per cent in France, 62 per cent in Germany and 68 per cent in Italy.
Childcare and parenting expert Professor Tanya Byron said the breakdown of family mealtimes could be damaging to families:
'By eating together, focusing on each other and learning to enjoy each other's company, families gain a variety of benefits, including improved communication and trust - and of course, the ability to have some fun over a delicious meal. We need to lose the dash-and-eat mentality and get better at table talk.'
What do you think?
Do you insist on dining at the table, or do your children scoff their nosh in front of the TV or computer?
Do you think it matters?
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more