Wednesday, 18th May 2011
New research into Irish Family meal times, and attitudes to cooking with rice, undertaken by Uncle Ben's to launch the ‘Begin with Ben' campaign, has revealed that the average time Waterford families spend together over the course of a week enjoying family meals is a maximum of 50-60 minutes. When broken down, that is an average of only 8 minutes per day! It appears a number of factors such as working long hours and family pressures have taken their toll on family meal times, resulting in a serious lack of time available to families to spend quality time and enjoy each other's company over a home cooked meal.
Of those surveyed, 25% said they spend a maximum of 20 minutes together per week; a further 20% said they would spend 25 minutes together, another 20% said they would spend up to 60 minutes, whilst 10% said they would spend between 30 and 45 minutes together.
Not surprisingly, the one day of the week that Irish families spend the most time together over a family meal is Sunday. Over 45% of those surveyed said they would spend up to 60 minutes together on a Sunday; whilst Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days families spend the least amount of time together.
Uncle Ben's has teamed up with well known dietician, Aveen Bannon, to launch the ‘Begin with Ben' campaign which seeks to get Irish people to re-think their meal times. Everyone can get it perfect every time with Uncle Ben's; it's easy when you ‘Begin with Ben' to cook tasty family meals that are good for you and your family.
Aveen Bannon, Consultant Dietician, commented: "If you are looking to give your family something different for dinner, a meal that tastes great, is quick and easy cook and is filled with healthy ingredients, rice is a great option to consider. Not only does it taste great, it really is good for you, and it's up there in terms of providing healthy choices for family meal. It boils down to this; rice is low in sodium and cholesterol, it's a great source of energy so provides great fuel for the body. It's packed full of vitamins and minerals and has a low GI. When you cook with rice, you are more likely to create a meal filled with fresh vegetables and lean protein. So, if you're not sure where to start when it comes to making healthy family meals for your family; then Begin with Ben and see how easy it can be."
Other interesting findings from the research:
· Chicken Curry came out on top when Irish people were asked the main meal they would cook at least once a week. This was closely followed by a pasta dish, either Spaghetti Bolognese or Lasagna; a roast dinner on a Sunday; or stir-fry; proving that Chicken Curry really is the nations favourite dish. · The most popular rice eaten in Ireland is Long Grain (40%) and Basmati (36%), whilst the most common form of rice that Irish people consume is Dry Rice (85%)
· When it comes to home cooking, the most influential factor in choosing to cook from scratch is taste, followed by nutritional value. Of those surveyed in this multiple choice option, 76% opted for taste; 55% said nutritional value was a key factor; followed by preparation time (53%) and cost (52%). Convenience came last, with 37% of people choosing this as a factor influencing their cooking choice
· The main factors contributing to consumers being unable to cook from scratch at home are, working long hours (50%) and family pressures (25%)
· Parents that were surveyed did not find rice a difficult food to get their children to eat with up to 58% saying their kids would eat rice regularly.
· Once again, Chicken Curry topped the list in terms of the key rice meal parents feed their children, followed closely by stir-fry and sweet & sour.
· 25% surveyed find rice a difficult food item to cook with another 30% think it is unsafe to reheat rice, which is in fact a myth as it is perfectly safe to reheat rice.
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