Civil servant Eric Haw and his homemaker wife Woon Even, both 43, will be sitting down tonight for an early dinner that their 11-year-old son, Xian Feng, will be helping to prepare.
Mr Haw will be home earlier today for the annual Eat With Your Family Day. His employer, national water agency PUB, is taking part in the initiative and letting staff off an hour earlier. Xian Feng's school, Corporation Primary, is also participating in the event and yesterday taught its 1,500 pupils to prepare simple dishes for their families tonight.
PUB and the school are among 280 organisations that have signed up for Eat With Your Family Day this year, up from 224 last year. They will let their staff off work earlier today so families can have dinner together.
This is the 13th year of Eat With Your Family Day, started by the Centre for Fathering, a non-profit group that wants fathers to be more involved in their children's lives.
Its chief executive, Mr Peter Quek, attributed the rise in participation this year to easier registration. Companies can register online now instead of having to download a form and fax it back. In fact, firms which want to sign up can still do so today on the Centre for Fathering website.
"It's the last Friday of the school term and we thought it's good for families to kick off the school holidays by spending time together," he said.
While the number of organisations on board increased this year, it is still a far cry from the 403 in 2012. Mr Quek said the drop was due to firms not knowing they have to register for this day every year. The centre will contact past participants to inform them about registering each year.
Ms Siah Siew Ling, Corporation Primary's head for school stakeholders and engagement, said the school and its parent support group have been teaching easy recipes to pupils for Eat With Your Family Day for nine years.
This year, the children learnt to prepare a hummus dip, tuna canapes and fruit-infused water.
Xian Feng, who will make the hummus dish for his parents and two older siblings, said: "I can't wait to try the dish at home with my mother. She is also going to roast a chicken for dinner."
This article was first published on May 29, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.