Average family dinner only lasts this long, but takes double time to prepare

average family dinner length
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A poll of 2,000 UK families found they sit down to supper at 6pm, consuming their meal in just 21 minutes.

But three in 10 families admitted to taking less than a quarter of an hour to wolf it down.

For 30 per cent of parents, the speedy dinner times are due to them having to get some work done out of hours.

And while a quarter said it's because their kids have homework to catch up on, a third believe the meals are eaten quickly as their children are keen to return to their video games and TV shows.

Although many may be rushing through evening meals, the study, commissioned by Princes, also found three in five enjoy a meal more when eating it together with their loved ones.

Celebrity chef Miguel Barclay, who is working with Princes, said: “We lead increasingly busy lives, so the time we have after work or school is precious.

"It’s no surprise to hear families aren’t having overly lengthy dinner times.

MORE: The most popular family meals – and how to give them a twist (opens in new tab)

“The recipes I have developed are quick and easy, allowing families to spend more time on the important stuff - connecting over delicious meals.”

The study also found 95 per cent of parents encourage conversation when the whole family is sat around the table eating together.

As a result, seven in 10 parents insist on all members of the family dining at the table.

But despite four-fifths believing tech devices at the table can negatively impact family mealtimes, one in four will now consume their dinner in front of the TV.

It also emerged three out of seven dinners in the week are spent apart from family members, with a quarter blaming late finishes from work.

Nearly six in 10 put it down to everyone in the family running on different schedules, leaving them with little opportunity to eat together.

average family dinner length

The study found that prepping dinner takes double the time taken to enjoy the meal (Credit: Getty)

A fifth said it’s easier to pick up a takeaway so everyone can just dip in and out as they please yet 94 per cent think it’s important to ensure their family eats healthy food.

Many don’t find it easy though as a fifth find it difficult to prepare wholesome meals, while one in 10 don’t know what is healthy in the first place.

More than two-fifths also admitted to not eating as healthily as they’d like because their children are fussy.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found families only try something new twice a week across the 21 meals they have.

A fifth of respondents avoid trying new things because they don’t know how to cook them, while a quarter don’t feel inspired in the first place.

A third simply don’t have the time to think up new concoctions and as a result, nearly a fifth of weekly meals are a repetition of another one they've had recently.

To overcome this, Princes has partnered with Miguel Barclay to create a series of simple and quick meals that can be enjoyed by any family.

Visit their Instagram page @princes to find out more.