Poor families face the toughest limitations.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn, (PRWEB) October 29, 2014
Determining whether or not families who sit down together for at least one daily meal are healthier than families who eat on the run has weighed heavily on busy parents for decades. In a new blog dated Oct. 1, 2014 titled “Benefits vs. Hassles of Home Cooked Meals,” eHealthPath.com blogger Liz Ernst addresses a new study titled “The Joy of Cooking?” that finds the chore of cooking family meals might be asking too much of already overstretched parents.
The study, written and published by North Carolina State University Sociologists Sarah Bowen, Sinikka Elliott and Joslyn Brenton, finds that time limitations, financial constraints, and the “feeding challenges that shape the family meal” might make the chore of cooking a family dinner too burdensome for parents, or more specifically, women.
The research findings show that the ideal of home cooking and family meals place undue stresses on many families, and are simply unachievable to others.
According to Bowen, an associate professor of sociology at NC State and co-author of a paper on the ongoing study, the study’s purpose is to understand the relationship between the ideal (of the family meal) that is presented in popular culture and the realities that people live with when it comes to feeding their children.
Study researchers interviewed 150 female caregivers in families with children between the ages of 2 and 8, and conducted in-depth observations of 12 of these families for a total of 250 hours. Their findings conclude that middle-class, working-class and poor families face some similar challenges, and that mothers from all backgrounds reported difficulty in finding time to prepare meals that everyone in the family would be willing to eat.
Input from mothers involved in the study include the struggle some say they feel between their desire to spend quality time with their children and the expectation to provide a home cooked meal routinely. Financial concerns also play a prominent role in meal planning, as many middle-class mothers often worry about their inability to afford fresh and organic foods for their meals.
Poor families face the toughest limitations, citing an inability to afford items like fresh produce or the kitchen tools they need to prepare meals, and to obtain transportation to and from the grocery store.
According to Bowen, poor mothers often skip meals and stand in long lines at non-profit food pantries to provide food for their children, which makes the idea of home cooked meal making seem unrealistic.
In her eHealthPath blog, Ernst offers suggestions from these and other study authors for overcoming many of the barriers modern families face in incorporating the family meal into their daily routines, and the many benefits doing so can provide. To read the blog in full, visit eHealthPath.com blog.
Designed by a team of passionate foodies and healthy lifestyle devotees, eHealthPath.com offers a fresh outlook on meal preparation, nutrition and the virtues of eating well.
Armed with a firm belief that the kitchen is the most important room in the home, the eHealthPath team provides online on-demand cooking courses for everyone—from fast food junkies and kitchen skeptics to serious cooks. Real food for real life, presented in a bright, structured curriculum and packed with exciting new ways to think about food, flavor and nutrition.