PARENTS

Dads Are More Likely To Feed Their Kids Unhealthy Food Than Moms

But moms are still in charge of mealtimes in most households.

07/31/2017 13:05 EDT | Updated 07/31/2017 13:08 EDT

Although more dads are opting to stay home to look after their children while their partners go back to work, new research says that they're still not making as many meals for the household as moms, and the meals that they do serve are less healthy.

And this can put a lot of pressure on mothers.

In a small study published in the journal Science Direct, the team sought to prove that fathers aren't always focused on serving a healthy, balanced meal to their children.

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Researchers used 109 in-depth interviews from more than 40 San Francisco families who were middle- to upper-class.

They found that nearly all of the dads' eating habits weren't as healthy as the moms'.

Study author Priya Fielding-Singh, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Stanford University in California, said she was not surprised that fathers do less housework — which includes meal prep and child care — than mothers.

This can put a lot of pressure on mothers.

However, she did find it surprising that fathers' lack of involvement in feeding their family took a toll on moms.

"Many dads are less invested in some of the healthy-eating priorities that moms really hold dear," which can lead to moms doing more work, thus adding to their stress levels, Fielding-Singh told Live Science.

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Though some moms said they were happy to do most of the work, others wanted the dads to do more, such as grocery shopping and cooking. However, they felt that if the dads took on this work the meals would be less healthy. This in turn made the moms feel like they were being bad parents, so they continued to do the work without help from dad.

"Even though some moms were unhappy with it, few saw that there could be an alternative," she said, adding, "there was definitely a resignation" for moms that this is just the way it is.

Many dads are less invested in some of the healthy-eating priorities that moms really hold dear.

According to Live Science, some of that resignation may be a result of society's deeply entrenched gender roles.

"Feeding families is very central to motherhood," Fielding-Singh said. "We hold mothers accountable for the foods that families eat." Because of this, moms judge themselves — and other moms — by how well they feed their families.

As for dads, Fielding-Singh notes that "they simply didn't see it as their responsibility to be making sure that kids were eating healthy — they saw it as Mom's responsibility."

We hold mothers accountable for the foods that families eat.

Here at HuffPost Canada, we're all for equality, especially at home. So if you're feeling tired and the thought of making your kids a meal makes you want to go to bed, here's a list of easy dinner recipes... to give to your partner.