Dinnertime Disputes:
Our Survey into Squabbles
During Family Mealtimes

Sitting down for a delicious family dinner, especially at Christmas, is the epitome of homely bliss… or is it? Family dinners aren’t always picture perfect, and even if you follow our meal planning tips for family dinners, tempers can sometimes boil over!

Whether it’s politics, table manners or deciding what’s on the menu, dinnertime can be a minefield of disagreements for even the happiest family.

Here at Birds Eye, we’ve carried out a survey of 2000 UK families based all over the country, to find out more about our dinnertime dynamics.

We’ve asked people how they feel about eating together as a family, as well as uncovering some interesting insights into the things people disagree on, and how our frozen food range could offer a convenient solution to at least a few of these issues!


If you’re interested in seeing how your family compares and what other households’ dinnertime disputes are like, read on!

70% of people feel eating together as a family is important


Let’s start with the good news!

70% of those surveyed say that eating together as a family is important, and it’s no wonder! Human societies have been eating communally for thousands of years, and we’re social creatures at heart, even if we do sometimes get on each other’s nerves! Eating together is a great way to build bonds and connect with our relatives, as well as let off steam and learn more about each other.

Indeed, younger diners seem to agree with this, as 73% of 18–24-year-olds also say that eating together helps to learn about children's lives.

In short, food brings people together. It can strengthen our bonds, and gives people the opportunity reconnect, even after an argument or stressful day. After all, nothing says ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘I love you’ quite like a tasty dinner!


More than half say eating together improves the family bond

More than half of people see family dining as an essential way to improve their bond with the ones they love, and there may be a few reasons for this. Preparing food for your loved ones takes time and effort and can be a great way to show how much you appreciate them. Making time to enjoy the meal together is also a sign of appreciation and respect for the effort that has been put into preparing dinner.

In an incredibly fast-moving world full of distractions, making space for some quality family time is even more important to make sure our bonds stay strong, so it’s no surprise people agree that eating together is one of the best ways to ensure this.


60% of people agree it's rare to get through a family meal without an argument

While it’s true that family mealtimes often bring us together, it’s also true that they can sometimes cause squabbles. However, this is actually very normal as only 10% of people say they have no dinnertime disagreements during a typical week.

There is a silver lining to these dinnertime disagreements though, as over half of people agree that squabbles around the dinner table can bring a family closer together.

A good old-fashioned squabble can help people to learn more about each other, exchange views and can even be quite entertaining! Indeed, over 1 in 3 people somewhat agree that families sharing all the same opinions would be boring.

So even when we do have a dinnertime dispute, there’s a good chance that this kind of communication is actually really valuable and can help people raise issues and potentially be more open and honest with each other.


Two thirds say the Christmas meal is one of the happiest moments of the year

Christmas dinner is one of the most important meals and happiest moments of the year for many families. The combination of great food, socialising and perhaps a few glasses of Buck’s Fizz or sherry definitely sounds like a recipe for harmony!


Nearly a third eat frozen food at least 3x a week

Frozen food is a great way to prepare a delicious dinner for the whole family without needing to spend all evening in the kitchen. It’s nutritious, tasty, and easy to prepare, making it perfect for busy working families who don’t want to compromise on flavour or quality.

Opting to cook from frozen can also take some of the pressure off preparing a meal - a great way to prevent stress and maybe even reduce the likelihood of any little dinnertime squabbles too!

There are a ton of options available, especially with Birds Eye, so there’s always something new to try, whether you’re looking for frozen chicken, nutritious veg or our delicious Green Cuisine range.


Over half of us eat frozen food because it's 'easier'

Using frozen food is one of the most convenient ways to prepare a meal. You don’t need to search for obscure ingredients, you don’t need to measure out quantities or portions and you don’t need to peel your veg. Frozen food is ready to cook as soon as you get hungry!

Frozen food also helps prevent waste, and 49% of people say they eat frozen food because they don't have to worry about it going off.

With food costs being an ever-present concern for many families, frozen food offers amazing value for money, and means you don’t have to deal with the guilt of throwing away forgotten ingredients and leftovers.


Whether you love eating as a family or only do it for special occasions, you can make sure you nail it every time using our tips for cooking frozen food or trying some of our delicious ready meals.

If you’re looking for some more inspiration on how to cook up a storm, check out our favourite fakeaway recipe ideas to make frozen food even more enjoyable for the whole family.