NEW YORK, Aug. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study by Banza, the rapidly-growing maker of chickpea-based comfort foods, digs into the realities and daily obstacles that make dinnertime stressful for parents. Between meal prep, clean-up, busy schedules, picky eaters, and the pressure to serve nutritious meals, it's easy for what should be families' most-beloved time of day to quickly become the most stressful one. Banza's Dinnertime Confessions Survey found that nearly all parents (89%) say there is at least one thing that causes them stress when it comes to dinnertime—including the inevitable "what's for dinner?" question, which 1 in 3 (35%) parents admit is stressful. As fall approaches and routines begin to shift, finding time to sit down together as a family for a quick, stress-free meal will be more important than ever. Banza's Dinnertime Confessions Survey spoke to parents across the U.S. to figure out what's causing all this stress, and to help identify ways to make it more enjoyable.
It's confirmed: For parents across the country, dinnertime is one of the most stressful and time-consuming parts of their day.
- Even with all the stress that comes with dinnertime, serving meals that give kids the nutrients they need—like protein and fiber—is still a priority for many parents. More than 2 in 5 (44%) parents always try to serve healthy meals to their families, even when it doesn't seem possible.
- Parents today are more strapped for time than ever—and if dinnertime was more efficient, they'd get more time back in their day. 2 in 5 (43%) parents report they'd take any time saved during dinnertime and use it to spend more time with loved ones. Others would use the time to focus on themselves: watch a TV show or read a book (36%), take some much needed alone time (31%) or just get some work done (27%).
- 1 in 4 parents (25%) parents say they sometimes have to cook multiple different dishes per meal to keep the whole family satisfied, adding to the overall time spent preparing for and cleaning-up from dinner.
The most stressful thing about dinnertime for parents is coming up with meals that are quick and healthy, but still something their kids will actually eat. Getting down to the root of the problem, the study analyzed what exactly is causing the stress.
- Striking a balance between nutrient-dense foods and ones kids love and are excited to eat—like pizza, pasta and mac & cheese—can often be one of the biggest challenges, considering an overwhelming majority (86%) of parents say they have at least one picky eater in the family.
- Picky eating can cause even more stress for parents who are already feeling pressure to serve nutritious meals. Nearly 2 in 5 (39%) parents say accommodating their kids' picky eating habits causes stress, and more than 1 in 4 (27%) parents are worried they are not giving their children proper nutrition because of their picky eating.
- 64% of parents would do just about anything to not have to deal with dinnertime drama caused by picky eating habits—like scrub all the toilets in their house, wait in line at the DMV, give up sweets or booze for the next year, or do their taxes.
- At the end of the day, when parents are strapped for time or exhausted, getting kids to eat the healthy foods they should be eating sometimes falls to the wayside. 1 in 5 (20%) parents confess they sometimes feel like they don't have the time or energy to encourage their kids to try new foods. This can often lead them to serving the tried and true foods that kids know and love, but 1 in 3 (36%) parents say they don't feel great about frequently serving their kids pizza, pasta and mac & cheese.
As routines change this fall, parents anticipate eating fewer dinners together as a family, yet feel it's now more important than ever to do so. The study explored how parents anticipate dinnertime evolving as schedules adjust this fall—for many, it's the first time schedules are changing in 18 months.
- Parents anticipate they'll eat fewer dinners with their families—52 less per year—as schedules get hectic again this fall. Yet, 83% of parents say there's something that could be done to make them eat dinner together more often such as getting all family members on the same schedule and having kids satisfied with the meal.
- Despite stress that comes with family dinnertime, more than half of parents agree that sitting down with their family is one of the most cherished (52%) and important (51%) moments of their week.
- 70% of parents anticipate their routines to be impacted in some way this fall, and say these changes mean they'll have less time to spend with the family and less time and energy to cook dinner.
- Making dinnertime more efficient and less stressful will be a priority for parents. 1 in 4 (24%) parents believe that finding time to eat dinner together as a family will be more important than ever this fall.
"Chickpeas, and more broadly beans, are one of the best foods for human health and the environment," said Brian Rudolph, co-founder and CEO of Banza. "We've reimagined our favorite foods, like pasta, pizza, and mac & cheese, using chickpeas so parents can feel good about serving their kids foods they love."
With the explosive growth of better-for-you comfort foods among U.S. consumers, the study confirms parents are seeking more dinnertime options for kids. Through the use of chickpeas, Banza's pasta, pizza, mac & cheese and rice provide a taste and texture that's authentic to the traditional versions while being higher in protein and fiber. Simple, delicious and nutrient-rich foods help parents serve their kids better-for-you versions of the foods they love. This helps to eliminate dinnertime fights with picky eaters, mitigate worries about children not eating enough healthy foods, and give parents more time back in their day.
"This new study from Banza highlights many of the issues parents face around dinnertime. Parents understand the benefits of family meals, but our new normal has left many of us with cooking fatigue and concerns over whether we're providing nutritious meals," said Frances Largeman-Roth, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and author. "As a working mom with three school-aged children, I know the challenge of making healthy, balanced meals for my family that don't consume too many hours of my day, which is why I lean on better-for-you options I know my kids will be excited to eat like Banza's pizza, pasta and mac & cheese."
To see all of the survey findings and learn more about the methodology, click here.
The Dinnertime Confessions Survey was commissioned by Banza and conducted by Kelton Global, a Material Company, between June 7 and June 14, 2021 among 1,014 U.S. citizens ages 18+ with at least one child under the age of 18 who lives with them at least part of the time.
Banza makes comfort foods out of chickpeas, including pasta, pizza, rice, and mac & cheese. Since 2014, Banza has been on a mission to inspire people to eat more chickpeas and other beans because of their positive impact on human and environmental health. Today, Banza's chickpea products are available in 17,000 stores nationwide, and it is the fastest-growing pasta brand in the country. For more information about Banza, please visit www.eatbanza.com.
*According to the U.S. Census Bureau
**Based on population of 63 million parents cited from U.S. Census Bureau