Parents eat 156 meals standing up every year

Mum lunch on the run?
Mum lunch on the run? Photo: Shutterstock

If you're skipping meals, tucking into a bag of your child's Tiny Teddies and remembering to give your dog his breakfast but forgetting to have it yourself, then you're not alone. A new survey has revealed that along with hijacking our kids' snacks and prioritising Fido's stomach over our own, we parents are so busy, we're eating 156 meals a year while standing up.

That's a lot of meals taken on the run.

I'm going to use one of our favourite celebrity Insta-mums to illustrate some of the other interesting findings.

Jessica Biel (Queen of the #showereat) having two of her 156 meals a year while standing up:


Post Oscars. Pre party. Baby daddy duty.

A post shared by Jessica Biel (@jessicabiel) on

According to the survey of 2000 mums and dads, conducted by OnePoll for Jenny Craig, 91 per cent of parents say they make "unhealthy meal choices" for themselves because they're too busy looking after the family. For 93 per cent of parents this includes late-night snacking (read: breaking into the hidden chocolate stash), which one in five mums and dads do "frequently".

Jessica Biel is ready to attack these doughnuts:


A post shared by Jessica Biel (@jessicabiel) on

For the majority of parents eating healthily is inconvenient, while three in four admit it's hard to get their family to eat healthily too. (If you're currently battling to get your toddler to consume anything other than plain rice and toast, then solidarity to you).

The results also indicate that being a "busy parent", skipping meals and grabbing maccas on the run have consequences, too, with over half reporting that it's lead to weight gain. Those dadbods didn't come from nowhere ....

(Mr Jessica Biel AKA Justin Timberlake doesn't have a dadbod, and neither of them appear to have put on weight since becoming parents, but here's a cute picture of the pair anyway.)


A post shared by Jessica Biel (@jessicabiel) on

But parenthood isn't just taking its toll on participants' waistlines - it's time consuming, too.

While that's not exactly breaking news, mums and dads spend 27 hours on "basic parenting tasks" such as cooking for the family, and taking the kids to school or extra-curricular activities. And with all that whipping up of meals our kids won't eat and ferrying children around to ballet and football there's not a lot of time left over. 

Parents admitted that they get only two hours of "me time" per week - which works out to around 21 minutes a day. (That's not even a full episode of your current Netflix binge, which is frankly a tad depressing.).

But if you think that sounds bad, (or you're wondering who are these mums with a glorious 21 minutes of free time per day), well for 56 per cent of mums "me time" works out to measly 15 minutes.

Jess demonstrating that sometimes me time is a nap:

Unsurprisingly, sick leave just isn't an option for most parents, with 47 percent of mums and dads admitting they can't take a day off from parenting task if they're feeling sick. 

So, were there any positive findings at all? Well, one - and only if you're a child. Over half of parents (57 per cent) say their kids have a much healthier diet than they do. So that's something, right?