Parents are lying about what they cook for their children because they feel guilty that the meals they’re providing aren’t healthy enough, according to a new survey. By Millie Gibson
A fifth of parents in the UK say they lie about what they cook for their children because they feel guilty that the meals they’re providing aren’t healthy enough. That’s according to a survey by YouGov for the Huffington Post UK.
The survey, part of HuffPost UK’s Thriving Families project, revealed that 43% of parents feel under pressure to prepare healthy meals for their families, and another 40% said they also felt pressure to be more adventurous with their choices.
Jamie Oliver, guest-editing HuffPost UK for the launch of Thriving Families, says, “The results mean we still have a very long way to go when it comes to inspiring parents to cook better food for their kids. The fact that 18% of parents admit to telling fibs about what they feed their children suggests that there are many parents who know they should be cooking more nutritious meals but, for whatever reason, feel that they can’t.”
Some of the reasons parents gave for not cooking healthier meals for their children included:
Just over a fifth of parents surveyed said the cost of food was an issue when creating healthier meal options.
Lack of time
A third of parents say they don’t have enough time to make healthy meals from scratch. This figure rose to 40% for the 35 to 44 age group, which could be attributed to parents struggling to find a healthy work-life balance.
Not enough support
Experts say more support from the government as well as health care providers, policy-makers and the food industry, would help families dedicate more time to nutrition and lifestyle so that ultimately they would be able to feed their children meals they aren’t ashamed of.
Readily-available junk and processed foods
With the ease and availability of ready-meals and processed foods, only a fifth of parents say they cook meals from scratch every day, with 20% cooking from scratch just once a week or less.
The 2016 Modern Families Index revealed that around 75% of families rely on ready meals because of work-related time constraints at least occasionally, sometimes more often.
Almost a third of parents surveyed said that the fussy eating habits of their children was another obstacle to preparing healthy meals.
What do you think about the results of the survey? Have you every lied about what you cook for your children? Drop us a line here at Meals Our Kids Love: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about HuffPost UK’s Thriving Families project at: http://projects.huffingtonpost.co.uk/thriving-families/
About Millie Gibson: Millie writes MOKL food and nutrition news as well as editing our social media channels. Millie will be heading off to University in September to study English, and hopes to pursue a career in publishing.