Features » The Good Food Guide
AVERAGE FAMILY LIVES OFF JUST 9 DIFFERENT MEALS
Contributor / 2009-11-23 09:09:33
The average mother relies on just nine different meals to feed her family, a study has found. Researchers found that hectic lifestyles, fussy children and partners who work long hours mean mothers are stuck in a rut when it comes to experimenting in the kitchen.
Nine out of ten mothers polled admitted cooking the same meals over and over again while one in four make the same meals on the same day of the week.
The most common meal among the nation's mothers was spaghetti Bolognese followed by roast dinners, a shepherd's or cottage pie and a pasta dish. A spokesman for Merchant Gourmet, a food product company who carried out the study of 4,000 Britons, said: 'It's not surprising, given the demands of modern family life, that home cooks revert back to the recipes they know and love. But this can make for very repetitive meal times.
People are put off experimenting with new meals and ingredients as they're convinced it will be time consuming or expensive. But, with the products and advice available today this simply isn't the case.
What they found most interesting was the rise of the fussy family. A massive 81 per cent of respondents claimed they have to make two or more meals every night and 23 per cent said that they would stick to the same meals because their children are fussy eaters.'
The survey also found that dinner time takes the average mother 35 minutes from start to finish, and four in 10 mothers play safe by choosing meals they know their family like. Over a third don't want to waste money by cooking something the kids turn their noses up at, and 44 per cent don't have the time to experiment. When it comes to dinnertime decisions, three quarters choose meals which are quick to make rather than those which seem healthier but take longer to prepare.
And nine most relied-upon meals are...
1. Spaghetti Bolognese
2. Roast dinner
3. Shepherds Pie/Cottage Pie
4. Pasta dish
5. Meat and two veg
8. Sausages and chips/mash
The research found that the average mother has eight cookery books in their house, but has attempted just five recipes. Of the cooks questioned, 39 per cent also found that at least half of the recipes they try from these books do not turn out as they expected. And two thirds have at least four books that have never seen the light of day.
Three in ten have the likes of Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith on their shelves just to impress visitors, and a third will only attempt a new dish at a dinner party. However, three quarters blame celebrity chefs' recipes for being too complicated with too many expensive or difficult to find ingredients.