The UNCLE BEN'S Brand Shines Light On Missing Piece Of Children's Education Through Parent Survey

Survey Shows Importance of Cooking as an Important Life Skill Similar to Reading and Writing

Oct 06, 2015, 11:59 ET from The UNCLE BEN’S Brand

RANCHO DOMINGUEZ, Calif., Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Private coaching, tutoring centers, language labs. When it comes to investing in their children's education, parents look for anything that might help their child advance academically. However, true help may lie in the one place they aren't looking for it: the kitchen.

Research shows that children who are involved in family meal times perform better academically than those who aren't1 and yet many parents are not bringing their kids into the kitchen to help reap those benefits. In a recent survey the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand found nearly three in five parents of children 10 years of age and older are not certain their kids could cook a meal for themselves.

Cooking is an important and necessary skill to hone, however most people do not learn to cook until well into adulthood. The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand looked to convey this message through a video that showcases the importance parents place on homework yet overlook how cooking is a life skill equally as valuable as reading and writing. Armed with a hidden camera, the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand asked a wide range of parents if they would sign up for a service to perform their children's homework and if they regularly taught their children these important cooking lessons. The results were pretty incredible.

The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand worked with Wakefield Research to conduct the survey centered around family meal times and then brought the survey results to life through this short video while also supporting the Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest, a program aimed at getting families cooking and eating together.

"Between both the survey and video, the goal was to have parents stop and ask themselves if they were taking the same level of passion around homework into the kitchen to teach their children how to cook," said Andrew Cops, U.S. Director of Marketing, Mars Food North America, the parent company of the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand. "Cooking is an integral part of a child's development because it teaches them math when they measure out ingredients, science when they bring things together and reading as they learn to understand and decipher recipes."

The survey brings to light the importance of family meal time and learning to cook at a young age but a lack of execution when it comes to educating children in the kitchen. The UNCLE BEN'S® Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research, and led to surprising results2:

  • 63 percent of parents of children ages three to 14 think that cooking a meal would teach their children more valuable life skills than doing homework.
  • One in three parents of children ages 10 and up, 33 percent of those surveyed, are not completely confident their child could do something as simple as locate a measuring cup in their kitchen without parental assistance.

The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand aims to encourage parents and kids to spend time in the kitchen cooking healthy meals and leads the kid cooking movement with their Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest.  Participants in the Ben's Beginners™ Cooking Contest submit a short video of themselves cooking a rice-based dish with their parents and vie for a chance to win one of five grand prize packages which includes $15,000 cash, a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for their child's school and a hometown celebration. Submissions are accepted on until 11:59 a.m. EDT on Oct. 12, 2015.  Ben's Beginners™ has helped bring the importance of family meal times and its positive effect on children to the forefront nationwide. For more information about UNCLE BEN'S® and Ben's Beginners™, please visit

About the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand

The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, the number one rice brand in America, is proud to offer a wide range of rice dishes with flavors and textures that will help bring more to your meals, both for savory main courses and convenient side dishes. The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand offers a wide variety of white, whole grain brown, and flavored rices in cook times ranging from 30 minutes to 90 seconds, as well as rice for food service operations such as restaurants, schools and hospitals. The first mass-produced parboiled rice, UNCLE BEN'S® Brand is the top-selling branded rice in the United States and products can be found in more than 100 countries worldwide. The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand products are manufactured by Mars Food North America, part of Mars, Incorporated. For more information, visit

1 Eisenberg M, Neumark-Sztainer D, Feldman S. Does TV viewing during family meals make a difference in adolescent substance use? J Prev Med 2009; 48:585-587.
2 Wakefield Research. (2015, September 24). [Survey of U.S. parents of children ages 3-14].

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