With Her in Mind Network (WHIMN) today revealed new research from Australia’s leading parenting site Kidspot.com.au.
The research provides a revealing view of the pressures and planning choices parents are making when it comes to feeding their family at all times of the day.
According to the national Kidspot.com.au Food and Family Study, when moving ‘From Me to We’, this transition from a SINKS/DINKS life stage to having children means a total disruption to the food approach parents undertake when it comes to planning, shopping and cooking.
Food takes on a much more functional role and being inspired to cook or prepare food, having variety, fun and delivering a quality meal becomes less important.
Before having kids 64 per cent of mums agree that food used to be more of an indulgence.
Mums really want to put the ‘fun’ back in functional and are looking for help to make the daily grind of meal preparation more enjoyable and inspiring.
Food is approached through a family first lens, with meal times holding much more meaning beyond the food itself.
It represents quality time, creating memories and safeguarding the family’s health.
Enjoyment of the meal is now as important as health with 84 per cent of mums agreeing that health is important at dinner and 82 per cent of mums wanting the family to enjoy their dinner.
Kidspot.com.au executive editor Melissa Wilson said: “When a woman becomes a mum, her perspective on life changes.
“Her mindset shifts from ‘me’ to ‘we’, a shift from short term and personal to long term and family first.
“It is also one of the few times in her life where all of her product and brand choices are re-evaluated, with the family first lens, and across all products and services.
“Being on top of consumer insights is important to our network of women’s brands and we’re bringing this research to life for our clients through a series of workshops, the first of which we recently held in Melbourne.
“By keeping a pulse on family dining habits we are able to share the results with our advertisers as well as adapting our editorial strategy to the growing and evolving needs of the Kidspot.com.au audience.”
Health, enjoyment and cost become more important as mums move from morning meal occasions to the evening meal.
With a busy lifestyle, there are time pressures and tradeoffs between health and convenience.
One in two mums choose health over convenience, with 84 per cent rating health as important at dinner, 61 per cent think affordable is important at dinner and 42 per cent prioritise fresh ingredients.
When it comes to lunch, mums are feeling more negative than positive, driven by lunchbox angst, with 65 per cent feeling negative emotions towards preparing lunch.
Mums are putting a lot of effort into lunch as it is the only meal where they are not around.
However pairing this with the pressures of lunchbox expectations from stricter school regulations, mums are looking for inspiration.
With two in three mums responsible for the lunchbox, 33 per cent are feeling rushed, 27 per cent lacking in imagination, 21 per cent bored and 20 per cent are frustrated by the task.
The snacking culture is also becoming more prominent in family households. 61 per cent are preparing lunchbox snacks at least four times a week, and 71 per cent are buying the snacks in their regular grocery shop.
Dads however are doing it differently. With an increase in mums juggling work and family responsibilities, dads are becoming more involved in the kitchen.
Overall they take a much more relaxed and leisurely approach across the meal shopping, planning and cooking journey.
When it comes to how they feel towards planning/preparing for dinner, 61 per cent of dads feel happy or relaxed versus 37 per cent of mums and only 8 per cent feel rushed versus 25 per cent mums.
Furthermore 70 per cent of dads “enjoy taking their time when cooking” compared to 55 per cent mums.
Kidspot.com.au is presenting the From Me to We: Food and Family study to market via intimate workshops.
WHIMN is the largest digital women’s network in the country reaching a unique audience of 3.2 million*.
WHIMN brings together the collective strengths of category leading parenting site kidspot.com.au; category leading health site mybodyandsoul.com.au; and whimn.com.au, targeting women as individuals with positive and empowering content.