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What parents would give up to get food on the table in under 10 minutes

Over 60% of parents polled would give up some of their favorite things for a quick dinner.

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Smiling mother taking cookies out of the oven in the kitchen
(ESB Professional via Shutterstock)

Six in 10 (61%) parents admit they’re simply not very good cooks, according to new research.

A poll of 2,000 parents with school-age kids found that the school year is stressful as ever for parents, from having the time to make proper meals for their kids (54%), to making sure their kids are doing their homework (51%) and getting enough sleep (51%).

With their time being spread so thin, it’s no surprise that parents often get frustrated by the time it takes to prepare ingredients (54%) and cook their kids’ meals (44%).

Additionally, three in five parents said the burden of cooking in their household usually falls to one parent (62%) – and it’s usually themselves (62%).

And 62% said they would give up some of their favorite things for a week if they could get dinner on the table in under 10 minutes such as their favorite music (62%), TV show or movie (55%) or most-loved outfit (45%).

Commissioned by Eckrich and conducted by OnePoll, the survey also found that parents said figuring out what meals to make for their kids is a bigger daily stressor for parents during the school year than making sure their kids have good hygiene (45% vs. 25%)!

While 23% rely on school lunches for their child, a third of parents pack a lunchbox for their children every day.

Most parents wish they could make quick and easy versions of fun, balanced meals for their kids (77%).

“Our results found that parents said lunch is the most stressful meal to prepare (36%), with 52% agreeing it’s especially difficult to feed their kids enough protein, said Bethany Gurecki, Senior Brand Manager for Eckrich at Smithfield Foods. “Choosing versatile ingredients that can be used in different recipes throughout the week can help simplify meal prep for busy parents.”

While 56% define an “easy” meal as anything that’s fast to cook, another 50% said an “easy” meal has instructions right on the packaging (50%).

Forty percent said “easy” meals are pre-made, and the same percentage define the term as something their kids can eat with their hands.

However, most parents struggle with finding “easy” meals that are also balanced (63%).

Seven in 10 busy parents of kids who have ever-changing palettes said that makes it even more challenging for them to find a favorite go-to meal for their young ones (71%).

The challenge may be especially tough for the 46% of parents who said their kids’ food phases last as long as one week (46%).

This may be why more than half of parents “always” or “often” resort to giving their kids whatever snack is within arms’ reach when they get frustrated about meal prep (55%).

“There are quick, easy meal options suitable for kids with different preferences that help get kids the nutrition they need while not taking too much out of parents’ days,” Bethany Gurecki, Senior Brand Manager for Eckrich at Smithfield Foods added. “Keeping up with kids’ changing preferences can be as simple as making small tweaks to their all-time favorites, such as by swapping a sandwich for a flatbread or taco with the same contents or creating bite-size versions of favorite dinner dishes for snack time.”

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