Faced with many time constraints that call for quick food preparation, today’s moms aren’t confident in their ability to consistently prepare meals that are nutritious, according to new research from Rutgers University. While moms each have their own unique challenges, the study suggests that many moms can benefit from recognizing that good nutrition and preparing food quickly are not mutually exclusive. Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Ph.D., RD, FADA, professor of nutritional sciences at Rutgers University, is the lead researcher of the study “Food Choice Influencer of Mothers of Young Children: Implications for Nutrition Educators?”  The study examined the key factors that influence the foods that moms select and serve, and noted that moms have a profound influence as the family’s meal gatekeeper. As a result, moms’ food choices have an overall impact on the health of their families.  Funded by the Canned Food Alliance, the study confirms:


  • Though mothers realize the link between diet and health, they find it tough to eat and prepare meals healthfully when they’re busy or stressed, when convenience becomes paramount.
  • Moms don’t equate nutrition and value with foods that are convenient.
  • Eating nutritious meals together as a family is a top priority of moms with children 12 and younger.
  • Mothers express a strong desire to learn how to prepare nutritious meals.

 “Since families are eating the majority of meals at home and mothers value gathering their spouse and kids around the dinner table, it becomes increasingly crucial to make sure what’s on the menu is nutritious, even when time is limited,” said Byrd-Bredbenner.