Morrisons offers free meals for kids this summer and ‘small-talk guides’

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Morrisons is offering parents facing the most difficult days of the long school holidays a combination of free meals for their kids and inspiration for mealtime conversations.

As parents around the country struggle to think of new ideas for meals and ways to engage their children, Morrisons is giving away free meals to children in its cafés. Additionally, families eating in Morrisons cafés will be given the ultimate guide to ‘small talk’ with kids, by Dr Amanda Gummer an expert in child development, play and parenting.

Morrisons is helping parents as new research reveals that 64% of parents say they often struggle to get their children to give more than a one-word ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to any questions and almost a quarter (24%) of parents want to make more of meal time conversations with their children.

The worst week for parents comes in the middle of August with the darkest days being Tuesday August 15th and Wednesday August 16th when their spirits reach their lowest levels.

Dr. Gummer’s questions are designed to avoid one word answers and to fire the imagination of the children rather than just asking them about their recent experiences.

Her top questions to avoid mono-syllabic answers are ‘if you could have a superpower, what would it be’ and ‘who is your hero and why’?

The ‘small talk’ guide will be available to families while they are waiting for their food order and will hopefully provide inspiration for other conversations at home.

Anna Lane, head of customer experience for Morrisons, said: “We know that some parents are looking for help feeding and engaging their kids in the school holidays. We hope that Dr Gummer’s questions for kids will help parents create exciting conversations and we hope that our free meals will take the strain off the family budget in August.”

Dr. Gummer is a renowned parenting psychologist at Fundamentally Children, a research institute that provides expert advice on child development, play and parenting.

Dr. Amanda Gummer, parenting psychologist from Fundamentally Children, said: “Keeping open the lines of communication with your children is so important for their social development and confidence. It is especially relevant in the digital era we’re living in, where a lot of communication is remote, preventing children from learning to interpret non-verbal cues such as tone of voice, expressions and body language. There are lots of times during the day to chat and meal times are a perfect opportunity to engage children in conversation.”

The top 10 conversation starters by Dr Amanda Gummer:

  1. If you could have any super-power, what would it be?
  2. Who is your hero – why?
  3. If you close your eyes, how many things/people in the café can you describe?
  4. How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?
  5. What’s your favourite memory from when you were little?
  6. If you were a chef, what new meal would you create and what would you call it?
  7. If you could live anywhere in the world/universe where would you live and why?
  8. What’s your favourite thing about yourself?
  9. If you got in a spaceship and kept going, what would you see and where would you end up?
  10. What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

Morrisons is offering free meals for kids throughout the summer in all 400 of its cafés.