Leeds Beckett University / Lack of home cooked meals worries working mums

Lack of home cooked meals worries working mums

11 July 2013 - Page last updated at 13:52
Research conducted at Leeds Metropolitan University suggests that working mothers feel they are failing their kids if they don't cook family meals from scratch.

This is one of the findings of a study by Dr Maxine Woolhouse from Leeds Metropolitan University that will be presented at the British Psychological Society's Psychology of Women annual conference today, Thursday 11 July, being held in Windsor.

Speaking about the research Maxine said: "These days enormous importance is attached to eating a healthy diet. However, primarily it is mothers who are seen as accountable for their children's diets and any associated problems from these."

In the study 10 pairs of mothers and teenage daughters were interviewed about food, eating, femininity and the female body.

One recurring theme was the fact that mothers emphasised the importance of providing a healthy diet for their family but this included practices such as 'cooking from scratch' and drew on ideas such as 'living off the land'. These practices were held up as necessary in order to be a 'good mum'. However, some mothers challenged these ideas by pointing to the pressures placed upon them (and all working mums) by these unfair and unrealistic expectations.

Maxine explained: "Most mothers want to provide the best diet they can for their children. However, due to contemporary culture the healthiest diet is now seen as being 'cooked from scratch' with food you have grown yourself. For many working mothers this is simply unachievable. This leaves some feeling like they are failing to care for their families properly with the further implication that they are to blame for the so-called 'obesity epidemic' in children."

The Psychology of Women annual conference runs from 10 to 12 July in Windsor.