New research from Australia’s number one parenting site Kidspot.com.au provides a revealing portrait of Australian families’ dining habits in 2015. With life more hectic than ever before, sitting down together for dinner remains sacred for Aussie families.
According to the national Aussie Families Meal Time survey, two in three families still eat together nearly every night of the week. Impressively, despite a busier family schedule and work commitments, 63% have dinner at home together as a family six to seven nights a week though only 27% manage to eat breakfast together.
However research shows that the Aussie dinner table has evolved. While manners are still important for 88%, 29% of mums admit to regularly using their smartphone during meal-time with their kids following suit. TV is a regular member of family dinners and a norm for 38% of families.
Mum remains the main grocery shopper and meal preparer. Even though 63% of respondents are working either full-time or part-time, 83% are still the ones getting food on the table and 59% are fully responsible for preparing the lunch box with only 9% getting help from their partner.
When it comes to choosing what to cook at dinner, most mums have only 10 standard meals in their repertoire, with healthy food that leaves empty plates being their top priority.
The research also revealed modern mums are impulse purchasing versus planning food purchasing. Nearly 60% of mums are doing their grocery shopping at least a few times a week and this is a major shift from Kidspot.com.au’s 2009 dining habits research which showed that the household shopping trip was a carefully planned weekly military operation.
Managing director of Kidspot.com.au Prue Cox said: “Kidspot is all about providing inspiration for busy mums. We undertook this research to better understand mums priorities and challenges around meal time to evolve Kidspot Kitchen. It is one of the most popular sections of the site with users delighting in our easy family meals, that are achievable and affordable, to help mums have more time at the table and less time in the kitchen.
“As a result of this research, Kidspot Kitchen relaunches today with stronger search functionality, a new section for health and nutritional information and lots of handy images and how-to-videos. Essentially it provides an easier user experience and is a great place to find more of those quick and healthy family meal ideas, recipes made by mums and loved by kids.”
The Kidspot.com.au dining habits research also identified four key ‘family dining segments’:
DIARY JUGGLERS (26%): Desynchronised meals in front of the TV are a norm for mature families with busy schedules and older kids. As health prevails, takeaway is not an option.
DINNER TRADITIONALISTS (38%): Family comes first and having meals together is not up for discussion. No TV or smartphone in these families where good manners and discussions win.
BUSY BEES (19%): Take away meals, crazy dinners and TV define these busy, young working families for whom feeding can be mission but it’s always fun!
THE PRACTICALS (17%): Dinner is less about spending family time and meals are often taken in front of the TV in these young, small and often single parent families.
Source: Aussie Families Meal Time survey conducted in March 2015
Base: Australian Mums N=702