Temple University in the US conducted a study of 3700 parents and has found that mums who work are more likely to serve up fast food as a meal than to prepare a healthy one, and they also don’t tend to encourage healthy eating…

The study found that parents who are stressed only prepare on average 4 meals a week, whilst parents who are not found to be as ‘busy’ are preparing 5.5 meals per week. The hours speak for themselves – full time Mums spend on average 8.8 hours cooking and preparing meals each week, whilst Mums who don’t work spend 11.5 hours per week preparing and cooking for the family.

What about the Dads? Well according to the survey the same rule applies, when Dad works fulltime, less time is spent in the kitchen. Fulltime working Dads spend on average 4.7 hours each week preparing and cooking meals, whilst the Dads who don’t work or only work part time spend on average 7.4 hours per week making the family meal.

It also came across that when parents have higher ‘stresses’ due to work / life balance, the less likely it is that the family eats together each night.

So what happens in your house? Do you cook every night? Is it just easier to order in sometimes after a long day? And how do we manage healthy eating when it’s usually more expensive anyway?

I know in my household it would be perfect to just have someone write a weekly plan for me each week so I didn’t have to think about it every night…..

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  • Such an important part of our lives, our health, our well-being. Need to put the appropriate value on it. Some other things make have to give. Planning is a great start.


  • We do not have alot of take-away as home cooked meals we prefer!


  • I find I have a lot of trouble with this.


  • I know of a woman with a hubby and a 2 yo. They both work but hubby finishes early in the morning, mum doesn’t finish til 6pm, yet she is still expected to get dinner ready (not to mention the grandma looks after the 2 yo all day!) because hubby is too lazy. So they have takeaways 5-6 days of the week. They’re both overweight as they don’t exercise either (even their dog is fat!) I fear for the health of their daughter :/


  • plan and it can be as easy as a salad


  • I cook every night. Takeaways if we’re out and about. I know a mum who budgets as much for groceries as she does for takeaways every week. And they have a 2 yo!!!


  • My life is easier when I write a meal plan


  • I always do a meal plan which can be flexible but makes shopping and tea making easier.


  • meal planning is important, we have a plan but it is flexible, but we cook every night, it would be rare to ever have takeaway, my kids may have it sometimes for lunch, but dinner is family time and everyone sits around the table and then we all do the dishes and clean up together, then the evening is your own.


  • Thanks for sharing; meal planning is so important in this household.


  • easy, healthy meals or cook on the weekend and freeze for the week


  • I get a bit cross with myself sometimes because I know if I meal plan life is so much easier and we generally stick to the meals we plan because it is already there set to go and no thinking is involved. But when plans are not put in place it is often so we think easier to have take out or frozen dinners etc at home. But in reality the time it takes to order and wait for delivery or to go out and get a meal you could easily cook so many simple meals at home.


  • We try to cook as much as we can, 5 days a week usually. I stay home, hubby works full time. When we do eat out we try and go healthy such as grilled fish, hot chicken etc


  • I try my be to pre-prepare and plan for the week, makes it so much easier during the week.


  • We cook as much as we can as we are trying to save money but once a week we get take away because we are lazy LOL


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