If you’re a fan of sitting the kids down for their dinner at 5pm, you may want to think again.

A dietitian is warning parents about letting your child eat earlier than the rest of the family.

Alex Parker, dietitian from The Biting Truth told Kidspot, “If children are eating at 5pm they are generally eating without their parents.”

“There is a huge amount of evidence to show the positive social skills associated with children eating meals with the family ,” she continued.

One huge benefit of sitting down with the family is that their vocabulary will come on in leaps and bounds.

“Researchers found that for young children, dinnertime conversation boosts vocabulary even more than being read aloud to,” she said.

“Dinner is the most reliable way for families to connect and find out what’s going on with each other.”

“Children who share family meals three or more times per week are more likely to be in the healthy weight range, and have healthier dietary and eating patterns,” she said.

What time do your little ones have dinner?

Share your comments below

  • Depends on their age if it’s a baby/toddler with a 6pm bedtime 5 is practical.


  • We eat between 5-6pm together. I hate going to bed on a full stomach.


  • I know of people who eat at 5pm, but not without their kids. It’s the whole family together, whatever the time.


  • We do not do this in my family; we all eat together!


  • No separate meals – all family meals – time to eat and socialise.


  • Mine eat when I eat, I have never done the early thing


  • We all eat the same time, usually 6pm unless after school activities are late


  • We didn’t eat with our kids when they ate this early, but we did sit down to talk to them.


  • I also found that 5pm was too early as they’d want more food by 7pm.


  • We always eat dinner together (me, dad & kids). In the mornings and lunches it’s just me and the kids but regardless we eat together.


  • I never had separate meal times for my kids. They ate when we did, with us! Why would you want separate meal times? What a lot of unnecessary trouble

    • I agree – seems like a lot of extra work and not the best use of time.


  • I’m starving by 5pm. We usually eat between 5 and 6. But its every thats home.


  • Our daughter always ate with us, since she was a baby. Personally none of us has ever eaten at 5 pm. :-) We always waited for my husband to come back from work and ate dinner around 7-7:30


  • We eat at 5 sometimes lol but everyone eats then, even us parents! Especially as the sun goes down so early these days


  • We all eat as a family. I never had earlier dinner times for my kids unless they were babies/toddlers. I see no reason to make dinner twice and I decide on what time we all eat based on how young my kids were art the time or around other commitments or homework, bath time tec.


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