Danish children often eat alone

Research project showed that parents have a tough time being present during meals

When it comes to eating dinner with their parents, children in Denmark are struggling, according to a new report from the Rockwool Foundation.

The report showed that Danish children eat dinner alone almost half the time, and that both parents are present at just one fifth of the dinners.

“Most families maintain a joint dinner meal, but when you look at how we spend the time, we don’t sit and eat together the whole way through,” Jens Bonke, a senior researcher behind the findings, told Politiken newspaper.

“And there is also a clear distribution of duties, so both parents are rarely present at the same time.”

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Breakfast woe
The inspiration for the research came from a US project that filmed families who had indicated they had joint dinners. The footage, instead, revealed that parents were not present during what they believed themselves to be a joint meal.

The Danish research also showed that Danish children ate breakfast alone two-thirds of the time, and that both parents were present at just 7 percent of the breakfasts.

The news comes on the heels of a Userneeds survey on behalf of Statoil, which found that 54 percent of Danes eat breakfast alone and just half of the population eat their first meal of the day at the breakfast table.