NEW research suggests that Brits are spending less time eating together as a family, so with Mother’s Day this weekend there’s never been a better reason to get the whole family around the table.

No one appreciates that more than DJ and TV presenter Vernon Kay, who has two daughters with his wife Tess Daly.

He's fronting a new Flora advertising campaign with his 65-year-old mum Gladys and Bolton-born Kay is planning a special day for one of the most important women in his life.

“It will be flowers, a family day out and some special gifts from me and my brother Stephen, to treat mum like the queen she is,” he says, with a cheeky grin.

In the wake of the budget, we’re all feeling the pinch, but treating your mum to lunch on Mothering Sunday doesn’t have to cost the earth.

“My mum loves home cooked food! Her favourite is my Spaghetti Bolognese made from fresh vegetables and lean meat,” says Kay, who has not only promised to cook the dish but wash up afterwards.

TV chef Jean-Christophe Novelli is another man who knows the importance of keeping mum sweet.

“My mother lives in France, so if I have the opportunity to be with my her on Mother's Day, I like to cook something very special to mark the occasion,” says the French chef, who’s appeared on Hell's Kitchen.

“One dish I know she loves is my Pan-Fried Paprika Chilli Salmon.”

Novelli is sending his mum flowers and a batch of cookies. “All mums like something sweet on Mother’s Day, which is why I recommend a great recipe like Chocolate, Nut And Raisin Cookies. It's the perfect finish to any meal.”

Throughout this week we'll be giving you some tasty, family-friendly recipes to help treat your mum by Novelli, taken from the book Food For Family And Friends.

• Echo readers can purchase Food For Family & Friends for the special price of £17.99 inc p&p (RRP £19.99). Call Macmillan Direct on 01256 302 699 and quote reference GLR 4WV. The book is published by Ryland, Peters & Small and is available on April 14.