New research into Australian dinner time habits has surprisingly revealed 7 in 10 families are sitting down to dinner together every night, a practice widely encouraged by experts to create happier and more unified family relationships in the home.
Research suggests the communal practice of 'breaking bread" around the dinner table as a family teaches children table manners, encourages them to try new foods, and opens the door for better communication between family members.
When asked what turns a meal from simple to special, Australian parents cited having the whole family sit around the table together chatting about their day and hearing the funny stories their kids tell, over a feast of great food or a special dessert.
Well-known Aussie actor and La Famiglia brand ambassador, Gyton Grantely believes family dinner time is a special time for families to bond and has fond memories from his childhood. 'I remember when I was quite young the whole family was over for dinner at my Grandparents. My uncle Q had just been to France and had brought back some tins of escargot! Everyone thought this was rather posh and also disgusting but agreed to give them a go. When we were seated, my father had to excuse himself. While he was away my mum ducked outside and grabbed a real live snail form the garden. She dropped the shell on dads plate and took her seat before he returned. The meal began and everyone was very vocal about how strange their snails looked and tasted, all the while keeping a keen eye on my dad's plate. Eventually dad looked down to discover one of his irresistible escargot sliding its way across his plate. He jumped so high out of his chair he almost fell over backwards! A great prank the whole family all found very amusing".
The survey commissioned by Australia's favourite range of garlic bread, La Famiglia, found our kids do most of the talking at the dinner table (64%) with funny stories and anecdotes the most talked about topic (61%), ahead of plans for the weekend (22%), social issues (13%) and politics (4%).
To find out some of the funny things our nation's kids are saying, La Famiglia invited Australian actor and brand ambassador Gyton Grantley to sit down for dinner with a series of Aussie families. La Famiglia's sit-down comedy series can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/LaFamigliaKitchen
Although Australian parents reported battling distractions such as the TV (47%), siblings (22%) and mobile phones (14%) at the dinner table, they have revealed their secret weapon to bring the family together for dinner. Over half of respondents (58%) revealed garlic bread was their number one dinner table staple, proven to get their kids to the dinner table.
The research also found spaghetti bolognese is the favourite dish of Aussie kids, ahead of quintessential Aussie favourites chicken parma and meat pies - both of which fell to the bottom of the list behind salad and chicken and veg!
La Famiglia brings the tastiest garlic breads to Australian families, turning meals from simple to special. La Famiglia's Stonebaked range is crafted using traditional recipes combined with fresh flavours making them perfect to share with family and friends.
Find out more about La Famiglia here: https://www.facebook.com/LaFamigliaKitchen
Other findings from the La Famiglia research include:
Australian parents report their kids as doing the most talking at the dinner table (64%) ahead of mum (22%), Dad (12%) and guests (2%)
A family dinner brings Australian families together the most (65%), ahead of Christmas day lunch (13%), a family holiday (10%), a family celebration (10%) or a family meeting (2%)
Australian parents reported their families would most like to have dinner with Superman (14%), followed closely by Aussie comedy duo Hamish and Andy (12%), their kid's teacher (11%) and Taylor Swift (10%).
Question: What surprised you about the La Famiglia dinner table practices nationwide survey?
Gyton Grantley: I was shocked that the Meat Pie is at the bottom of the popularity list! But can also understand why spaghetti is the favourite dish enjoyed by Australian families. I'm a huge fan of the "wriggly worms" as are the kids.
Question: Can you tell us about the Sit Down Comedy?
Gyton Grantley: Because Children are so funny they can get very tired telling their jokes. We decided it would be best for everyone if they sat down while they had us in stitches!
Question: What inspired you to feature in the Sit Down Comedy?
Gyton Grantley: I love kids. I've found myself working with them a lot over the last few years. I find they have the most incredible minds and their stories are often hilarious! I jumped at the chance to be a part of that.
Question: What 'funny things kids come out with" can you share with us from around the dinner table?
Gyton Grantley: "normal cheese" is the best type to eat.
the green bits in garlic bread are sea weed.
salads taste like sausages when dads prepare them.
Question: What can you remember from your own family dinner table, growing up?
Gyton Grantley: I remember when i was quite young the whole family was over for dinner at my Grandparents. My uncle Q had just been to France and had brought back some tins of escargot! Everyone thought this was rather posh and also disgusting but agreed to give them a go. When we were seated, my father had to excuse himself. While he was away my mum ducked outside and grabbed a real live snail from the garden. She dropped the shell on dad's plate and took her seat before he returned.
Question: Where you happy that 7 in 10 families are sitting down to dinner every night?
Gyton Grantley: Absolutely! The makeup of the modern family is so diverse. I think what is most important is that people are sitting down together and sharing dinner.
Question: What do you love most about the La Famiglia brand?
Gyton Grantley: The Garlic Bread of course!
Question: Was Spaghetti Bolognese a favourite dish of yours, growing up?
Gyton Grantley: I think every child grew up loving Bsketty!
Question: What gets you to the dinner table, each night?
Gyton Grantley: I love to cook a lot so I'm happiest when I have people to cook for. We love to sit around the table, enjoy the food and share our stories.
Interview by Brooke Hunter