Long working hours, tiresome commutes and social commitments often means families don't get the opportunity to sit down and eat their evening meal together.

Throughout the years researchers have found that families who eat dinner together five nights a week, reap great benefits. Not only does it help you to build and maintain relationships, it can also help your kids perform better in school.

Here, we look at the Top 10 Teatime Tips - including how to get the family together, and how you can get kids excited for a family dinner;

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

1. Include everyone

Whether you have a grumpy teenager hidden in their bedroom or young children who struggle to remain sat at the table for long periods of time - it's important to include everyone to get into a daily routine.

2. No technology

According to a recent study - tech is taking over the dinner table. 11.4 million tech devices are brought to UK dinner tables, with more than a third of kids spending family dinner times distracted by technology. Although it may seem impossible, make sure the TV is off, along with any phones or iPads allowing you all the time to properly interact.

3. Prepare and Plan

It's a good idea to plan and prepare each day of the week, to get your kids excited. Things like 'Fries Friday', 'Taco Tuesday' or the traditional 'Sunday Dinner' will bring in routine to dinner times.

4. Work as a GroupIt's good for each member of the family to have their own tasks, such as setting and unsetting the table.

Not only does it ease the burden for the person cooking, it's a good technique to teach kids responsibility.

5. Conversation starters

Conversation can sometimes be difficult with young children and teenagers. Talking about each other's days can often be a good starting point in order to make conversation flow; it also allows everyone around the table to be involved. It's important to keep the conversation light though - avoid berating your kids so there aren't any arguments.

6. Take your time

It is easy to quickly scoff down your meals, and then return back to all your separate activities. It's good to make sure that everyone takes their time whilst eating, to appreciate the time together.

7. Different meals

Although it is good to have certain meals planned for the week, it is also good to mix it up occasionally. This allows you to experience different foods together, whilst also providing a good conversation starter.

8. Creativity

Doing different things during meal times can be a great opportunity to interact with each other. This can be anything from playing a game, to making homemade pizzas together. It gets everyone involved.

9. Despite busy schedules, make sure you eat together at least once a day

This may seem impossible with work, school and social lives, but it is important to eat together at least once a day. It doesn't even have to just be at teatime, breakfast and lunch is also a good time for everyone to get together.

10. Make it fun

Do different things to make teatime fun, it's good to occasionally go over the top. Check out this example, where McCain gave one family the opportunity to have a teatime takeover.

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