A long, long time ago, I made a vow.

I vowed that we would never have a row over the dinner table, about food.

Rather than trying to force Flea to eat more, eat less, try this, don’t eat it like that – I just let her be. If she didn’t like a food, she didn’t like it. If she didn’t eat it, she didn’t eat it. There’s always the next meal.

Of course, that’s not to say we don’t still have disagreements at the table – most frequently about why Flea needs to put down her phone and actually make eye contact with her family. Or it’s me, worrying about what I’ve burned, or whether I’m about to poison anyone with my inept cookery skills.

We’re not quite the Waltons.

And I’m definitely not Nigella.

Still, who is?

This month, I’m working with Dolmio to support a new campaign for #NoDrama family dinners. Dolmio surveyed 2,000 UK adults and found an epidemic of dining table stress!

The survey found that the average British parent spends 27 hours a year cooking food that their children will refuse to eat. Another cheerful stat – we apparently spend six days a year, on average, dealing with family drama. And a shade over half that time (51%) is food-related stress.

What sort of things do we argue about? According to Dolmio, it’s kids that don’t want to eat veg (28%), refusing to eat what’s offered (25%) or asking for dessert first (16%).

Dolmio NoDrama

Last weekend, I got my family round the table to talk about our family dinnertime dramas. While we chatted, we got to try out the new range of Chicken Tray Bake sauces from Dolmio, which are available in supermarkets now.

What I loved about this recipe is it’s something we all got together to prepare, and it’s very quick and simple. My sister-in-law helped me chop vegetables, my brother cooked pasta. The kids set the table, and poured the drinks.

The whole thing took just a couple of minutes to prepare, and was ready for the table 30 minutes later.

The sauce is perfect for us. Baked chicken with veg is a go-to dinner for during the week when I’m short of time, and the sauce is a perfect way to jazz up dinner spending loads of time doing prep. Oh, and a serving also contains one of your five a day. Bonus.

If you’d like to know more about the Dolmio #NoDrama campaign, then check out the Dolmio Facebook page. I highly recommend watching their hilarious new TV commercial featuring Dominic West. If only ALL the problems of the world could be solved with a spag bol, eh?

Win a Dolmio Hamper

If you’d like to try the new Chicken Tray Bakes for yourself then simply comment on this blog post telling me your most common mealtime drama.

I’ll pick one comment at random to win a hamper of Dolmio Products (to include the full range of Chicken Tray Bake sauces, three new Dolmio No Added Sugar pasta sauces AND a Dolmio pasta sauce). Just be sure to leave a comment before September 30 at midnight GMT. (Full Terms below)


Disclosure: Dolmio paid for my time creating this post and video. However all opinions are my own and if it tasted bad, I would obviously let you know. Because dinner time is way too important for food that’s not delicious. 


Giveaway Terms: Entry open to UK residents aged 18+. No cash alternative, one entry per person. To enter you must leave a comment on this blog post. Promoter and Data Controller, Flea Enterprises, 2 The Old Sawmill, Lytham Lancs FY8 5PL. 


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.