Families, meals and synchronicity: eating together in British dual earner families

Julia Brannen, Rebecca O'Connell, Ann Mooney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Based on a sample of British dual earner families with young children drawn from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the paper examines their food practices, in particular the conditions under which families are able to eat together or not during the working week. The concept of synchronicity is drawn upon to shed light on whether meals and meal times are coordinated in family life and the facilitators and constraints upon coordination. The paper suggests that whether families eat together is not only influenced by parents' work time schedules but also children's timetables relating to their age and bodily tempos, their childcare regimes, their extra-curricular activities and the problem of coordinating different food preferences and tastes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-434
Number of pages18
JournalCommunity, Work and Family
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • children's schedules
  • dual earner households
  • meal patterns
  • synchronicity


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