A study of 2,000 adults revealed 63 per cent wish they spent more time with their families – but admit life simply gets in the way.

A third ranked a traditional roast dinner as their favourite way to enjoy precious family time together, followed by dog walking and watching a film.

While 78 per cent said food brought the family closer together – although nearly half confessed to not making enough effort to enjoy more quality time.

A spokesperson from Aunt Bessie’s, which commissioned the research, said: “Family time is precious, but it can be hard to make time for our loved ones.

“We all lead hectic lives and certain things can sometimes get in the way, but quality moments with those we love are hugely important.

“We know how important cooking a roast dinner can be in bringing families closer together and showing loved ones that we care.”

The study also found that for 41 per cent of those polled, work is to blame for lack of family time – while distance and household chores were the main reasons for more than a third.

Although 72 per cent said the pandemic was to blame for not seeing family members as frequently as before.

As a result, almost a third believe they have lost more than 10 hours of family time a month.

But while 19 per cent try to do something special for their family on a daily basis, 60 per cent would still like to make more effort when it comes to showing them how much they care.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, found almost two thirds would consider cooking as a way of expressing love and affection for their family.

While more than half find having a meal is an excuse to sit down and converse properly, and 57 per cent reckon it’s something you can enjoy together.

It also emerged that nearly eight in 10 believe a Sunday roast is a great way to get the family together, with 39 per cent spending most of their time with family on a weekend afternoon.

And 72 per cent have experienced quality family moments over a roast dinner.

To almost two thirds, ‘sharing a fun experience with one another’ defines quality family time, whereas 63 per cent believe it’s sitting down to have a meal together.

Aunt Bessie’s is encouraging fans to share their roast dinner family portraits on social media using the hashtag #AuntBessiesFamilyPortraits.

For every portrait shared using the hashtag, Aunt Bessie’s will donate a roast dinner to a family in need.

Aunt Bessie’s spokesperson added: “The pandemic got in the way of a lot of things, but now we are all eager to make up for lost time – including spending as much quality time with family as we can.

“It’s no surprise to see that roast dinners are still a firm favourite and we want to help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy quality moments over a roast this Autumn.

“The donations raised as part of this initiative will go to help connect families across all backgrounds and we look forward to seeing families come together.”

TOP 15 THINGS BRITS ENJOY DOING WITH FAMILY:

1.            Eating together

2.            Watching TV together

3.            Going on a day trip somewhere new

4.            Having a Sunday roast

5.            Visiting the beach

6.            Going away for the weekend

7.            Playing games together

8.            Having a movie night at home

9.            Going for a picnic

10.          Cooking together

11.          Going for a walk with the dog

12.          Going to the cinema

13.          Learning something new together

14.          Doing DIY together

15.          Going camping

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