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EXPENSIVE TASTES: Fad diets, intolerances and fussy children mean British families fork out an extra £206m a week on food

  • Data showed children make dinner times complicated because parents have to make a variety of meals

Fad diets, children’s fussiness, allergies and intolerances mean British families are forking out an extra £206 million per week, ON TOP of their weekly food shop.

New research has revealed that the days of us all sitting down to the same meal are over, with almost a third (28 percent) of mums and dads now under pressure to create a variety of different meal options EVERY evening.

In fact, according to the parents polled, the cost of accommodating every family member’s needs comes to £27 each week on top of the standard shop – that’s £1,404 extra per family, per year.

The data showed children make dinner times the most complicated by refusing to eat certain things, with over half (55 percent) claiming their children are far fussier than they were when they were young.

In fact, as many as 45 percent of the nation’s kids refuse to eat mushrooms, while 29 percent will not eat onions, 25 percent refuse to eat tomatoes and as many as 23 percent refuse to eat any green vegetables.

The research commissioned by Bosch revealed that overall, one QUARTER of all households have someone suffering from either an allergy or food intolerance, the largest of these being dairy (making up 40 percent of those with allergies) followed by gluten (24 percent) and nut (23 percent).

As well as a recent increase in allergy awareness, there’s been a corresponding rise in the number of people turning away from meat, which means that one in five households now have a vegetarian or a vegan in the house.

Unsurprisingly, all these competing opinions and choices leads to conflict within the household, with an incredible one in six family meals ending in arguments.

In fact, the parents polled reckon they spend 2.5 hours in the kitchen every week making food which meets everyone’s needs, with 80 percent wishing that everyone in the family would just eat the same thing.

And even when families go out, 26 percent have brought along some of their own food to help deal with any issues that can arise from.

Rosalinda Pisani, Group Marketing Manager at Bosch Home Appliances, said: “It’s quite staggering the range of household dietary requirements these days; it has become an everyday part of modern life, costing home cooks an extra £1,404 every year, that brands are now having to seriously consider and cater to.

“At Bosch, we understand that cooking a simple meal for the family is not as easy as it used to be, with a third of British families having to feature more than one dietary option at dinner.

“We want to take the stress out of cooking, and our new range of Serie 4 and Serie 6 ovens feature a Two-Piece Split Pan accessory allowing the household to cook, bake or roast two different dishes at the same time, with no intermingling of flavours.”

It’s not all doom and gloom and difficulties, however with 30 percent of families claiming that eating together was ‘wonderful’ and great way to enjoy each other’s company.

And it would seem there are certain meals that unite everyone in the household.

Ninety percent of the 1,000 polled said that they had a least one dish in their repertoire that was a hit with the whole family.

The most popular choice was an old-fashioned Sunday roast, which was a hit with 54 percent of families, followed by spaghetti Bolognese (52 percent) and then burgers and chips (44 percent).

Regionally, Manchester spent the most on different food options, with families there spending £32 a week serving up differing options, whereas Nottingham only spent £20.

And in Glasgow is the most difficult city to satisfy with 40 percent of meals containing a different option, compared to Bristol where only 10 percent of meals needed a second selection.