“Study Finds Home-Cooking Disproportionately Burdens Mothers”
We just saw this headline on PBS’ Facebook page and just had to click to read more. After all, good mothers please their families by making tasty, healthy meals – right? Well, not so fast. The Joy of Cooking may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.
A team of researchers at North Carolina State University published a study challenging the idea that home-cooked meals are ultimately “better” for the family as a whole.
Over the course of a year, the researchers collected interviews from 150 families of various racial makeups and socioeconomic backgrounds and more than 250 hours worth of ethnographic observation. They watched parents shuttle children to checkups, grocery shop, and prepare food. They concluded that, for all of the health benefits associated with food prepared at home, the task presents parents — particularly mothers — with a slew of economic and interpersonal stressors.
“One could say that home-cooked meals have become the hallmark of good mothering, stable families, and the ideal of the healthy, productive citizen,” their abstract reads. “Yet in reality, home-cooked meals rarely look this good. Leanne, for example, who held down a minimum-wage job while taking classes for an associate’s degree, often spent her valuable time preparing meals, only to be rewarded with family members’ complaints — or disinterest.”
The traditional standards of “good mothering,” the team posits, demanded that mothers manage an unrealistic balance of their own time, money, energy and focus, all while catering to the desires of their families. Participants in the study reported that picky eating habits from spouses and children, plus mismatched schedules, made arranging specific meals and mealtimes a Sisyphean effort. (Click here for full article)
So what can be done?
Carry Out Cafe is here to help. We provide delicious, easy meal solutions for busy families.
Each week throughout Autumn, Winter & Spring, we prepare dinners that you can pick up to take home to your hungry brood. Check out our Facebook page and website for the nightly meals and plan ahead. We will make sure we have your meals ready to go if you call us ahead of time to reserve them. In addition, we have a variety of meals, sandwiches and sides in our coolers to satisfy your picky eater.
Our advice: don’t stress out – Carry Out!