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Let’s Make Dinnertime Matter

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As one of four children growing up, dinner was the one meal of the day we spent together as a family. My mum and dad had divorced when I was five, but it was very important to both of them that we always felt united as a family and have quality time together.

So every Sunday my mum would cook a roast and dad would join us for our ritual family dinner. Sometimes we’d have ‘special guests’ along too, like Poppy, uncles, aunts, cousins and even the neighbours! It was always a special event that required setting the table with our best tablecloth and kitchenware – and a ritual I always looked forward too. 

It wasn’t just Sunday dinners that were sacred to our family though – every dinner was! As the baby of the family, my older brothers and sister were always out doing ‘big kid’ activities with their mates and dinnertime was when the entire family all got back together.

I looked up to my older sister and brothers and loved spending time with them – and was happy mum was non-compromising about everyone having to be home for dinner by 6pm so we could be together!

We’d sit around the table together every evening for some impromptu family bonding. I have some of my fondest memories from those times, listening to the shenanigans my brothers and sister would get up to with their friends, who was dating who and who was in trouble at school! The banter was loud, feisty and electrifying at times, and the comical sketches my brothers would put on to make us all laugh were hilarious!

My mum worked full-time and I’m still baffled about how she managed to serve us up an incredible spread every night – and manage four children. There were always at least five vegetables on the plate as Dad was a farmer and he’d load us up with boxes of fruit and vegetables constantly. But as well as simple meals like chicken or steak with steamed vegetables, mum would often serve up casseroles, soups, pies, roasts, seafood dishes and summer salads. She was big on flavours and sauces and we had to taste everything on our plate or we weren’t allowed to leave the table.

As a mum now, I instill many of the same values in my family today.

Dinner has always been the one opportunity where we can sit together as a family and talk about our day – without interruption or the rush to get to school or work or sports. It’s a time we can sit back and enjoy the moment – laugh together, learn about what’s important in our family’s lives, show interest in what the kids are learning at school and other things going on in our family’s world.

It’s also the one time we can really work together as a team – preparing delicious meals, setting the table, getting drinks and debating the dessert for the evening!

And I still have the same view on family mealtime as I’d seen as a child – no one is allowed to leave the table until everyone has finished their dinner. Some things never change. Understanding the rewards of dinnertime is worth passing down. 

This is a sponsored post by Masterfoods. All opinions expressed by the author are authentic and written in their own words.

sponsored-post

This is a sponsored post by Masterfoods. All opinions expressed by the author are authentic and written in their own words.

Written by Franki Hobson

Franki Hobson has worn many hats during her many years as a women's lifestyle journalist and editor. Her launching pad was COSMOPOLITAN magazine, where she moved from News & Entertainment Editor to Features Director, covering everything from the legalisation of the Morning After Pill to Gwen Stefani, fashion, beauty, sex, health, fitness, entertainment and relationships.

In 2003 Franki immersed herself in all things teen as Deputy Editor, then Editor-in-Chief of teen Bible DOLLY magazine. Following this, Franki was made Editor of COSMOPOLITAN Hair & Beauty, COSMOPOLITAN Pregnancy and COSMOPOLITAN Bride magazine, where she held the helm (and tiara) for more than 10 years. Franki was also the launch editor of COSMOPOLITAN Health magazine, and is an accomplished Homes Editor and Travel Editor, covering honeymoon destinations, family travel, luxe abodes and health retreats. Franki Hobson is a contributing lifestyle writer for The Carousel.

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