Family dinner time discussions are focusing on the environment more now than ever before – with the likes of climate change, recycling, plant-based eating and food waste among the hot topics.
A study of 2,000 parents revealed the usual kitchen table 'bants' – such as girlfriends, boyfriends, holidays, football and bathroom etiquette – are still popular topics.
But other discussion points including water waste, reducing meat-based meals and pollution are becoming increasingly popular too, as 61 per cent of families talk more about issues affecting the planet.
In addition to the environment, kids also like to talk about the latest with Covid-19, politics, Brexit
and racial equality.
The study found parents and kids are also likely to chat about whether to switch to a plant-based diet, the latest actions of Greta Thunberg and their thoughts on David Attenborough.
Incredibly, almost four in 10 children have tried to persuade their parents to either reduce their meat intake or try a plant-based diet.
Tammy Fry, for international vegan food brand The Fry Family Food Co, which commissioned the research, said: “Dinner time at the kitchen table really is a place where families get together to put the world to rights.
"Our research shows that whilst there’s a breadth of different topics, there’s an increase in family conversation about the environment and the ways in which we can all contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle.
“For some families dinner time is the only time of the day where all loved ones can catch up, so it is a great opportunity to debate, have fun, and interact.
“It's fantastic to see that children are often the ones driving conversation and sharing their thoughts on some of the more serious issues to affect the wider world, from climate change through to the benefits of plant-based eating and influencing their wider family in the process.”
Brits eat together four times a week
The average British family eats around the dinner table four times during the week, one day less than when today’s parents were children.
But nine in 10 modern parents said when they do all sit down together, the children are encouraged to talk about anything they like.
Not all chat is as serious, as families also talk about what to watch on the telly, which Harry Potter house they would be in and what the kids dream of being when they grow up.
While some air their views on Tik Tok videos, reality TV and the ‘birds and the bees’.
And 74 per cent believe mealtimes are a great place to discuss matters with the family – with six in 10 parents admitting they learn more from their children when eating together than at any other time.
Significant increase in conversation
Conversation about climate change and the environment has increased significantly over the past 12 months for as many as 61 per cent of families.
And the average parent reckons one in every four conversations is linked to something to do with how their behaviour affects the planet.
However less than a fifth of parents remember talking about such things with their own mums and dads when they were young.
While 14 per cent of those surveyed via OnePoll admit it is the children in their family who really push eco-friendly initiatives for the household.
Tammy Fry added: “Switching to plant-based alternatives has a positive impact on the environment, so it’s reassuring to hear so many families are now considering making small changes to reduce meat intake – and it’s the kids driving the conversation.
“We’re encouraging families across the UK to get together and join the plant-based movement and help change the world from their own family kitchen table, helping to save the environment one bite at a time.”
TOP 50 DINNER TIME TOPICS
2. Homework/ exams/ revision
4. Family holiday planning
5. When can we go to back to normal
6. What to watch on telly
7. Helping around the house
8. What kids want to be when they grow up
10. Room cleanliness, or lack of it
12. Why you have to eat your vegetables
22. Tik Tok videos/ what Tik Tok is
29. Girlfriends/ boyfriends
32. Online security/ safety
35. Reality television in general
36. Why mums and dads need a glass of wine
38. The Super League football plan
39. Which Harry Potter house you are in
40. Who is H from Line of Duty
43. Switching to a plant-based diet
48. Toilet paper over-usage
50. The birds and the bees