Feeding the Australian family: challenges for mothers, nutrition and equity

Kaye Mehta, Sue Booth, John Coveney, Lyndall Strazdins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Australian women shoulder the bulk of household duties including family food provisioning, despite increasing participation in the workforce. This research aimed to understand employed mothers’ daily-lived experience of family food provisioning, in particular, the intersection between family food provisioning, gender inequality and nutritional guidelines as they impact women’s time and health. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 employed mothers in South Australia. Participants had at least one child aged less than 13 years. Qualitative data was analysed using a thematic content approach. Time-scarcity was common and associated with stress in relation to family food provisioning; this relationship was particularly apparent among employed mothers who were also studying. Most mothers valued nutrition and strove to provide nutritious meals, although they tended to work from their own nutritional understandings, not the national nutrition guidelines; they saw the nutrition guidelines as unhelpful because of the time demands that were implied. The study invites policy makers, practitioners and researchers to consider time for family food provisioning as a social determinant of family as well as women’s health, and structural strategies to address this health inequity for women.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdaz061
Pages (from-to)771-778
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • mother
  • family
  • food provisioning
  • stress
  • time-pressure
  • woman's roles
  • time–pressure
  • woman’s roles


Dive into the research topics of 'Feeding the Australian family: challenges for mothers, nutrition and equity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this