Nestlé-A national survey of the eating habits during the coronavirus pandemic

There is more time for family meals during the coronavirus pandemic – reveals the findings of a representative survey by Nestlé Hungária, examining the eating habits of Hungarian families during in quarantine. Also, Hungarian children participate in preparing food in 5 out of 10 households, pancake is the favourite when it comes to cooking together, families use the internet in most cases when searching for recipes, and the personal preference of family members is the top priority for setting the menu.

Many families had more time for eating together during lockdown and home school than before – found the representative survey made by Nestlé Hungária among Hungarian families in the scope of the Nestlé for Healthier Kids programme . The survey aimed to explore how eating habits change during the pandemic. One third of respondents regularly had lunch with their families during lockdown, what became the main meal of the day. 40% of respondents reported no change compared to times before the pandemic. These respondents are mostly men and almost two thirds of them live in the countryside.

In five families out of ten, children participated in cooking several times a week, although they helped less on a daily basis. Children decide on the menu in many households, so, albeit indirectly, but they also contribute to shaping the nutrition habits of the family. Pancakes are clearly No. 1 in Hungary when it comes to cooking together: almost half of the parents involve children in the process both in Budapest and in the countryside. Various sweets and pastries are also very popular, and children are ready to lend a hand in the preparations. Adults generally engage children in preparing dishes in various phases from choosing the recipe through breaking the eggs to preparing the ingredients. Only 23% of respondents said that children do not help at all in the kitchen.


“Children who help in food preparation at home eat more vegetables and fruit. They are more open to adopt healthier eating habits, have a more balanced diet. As a leading food company, we pursue to educate parents and children using all potential platforms, and also give them guidance on making healthier choices to prepare when they cook together. Supporting children in developing appropriate eating habits is key. That is why we launched our Nestlé for Healthier Kids programme in 2018” said Gábor Tompa, Head of Corporate Communication.

Parents use whatever help they can for choosing recipes, but almost 80% of respondents said that their children’s wishes are the key decision factors. The survey also showed that while most dishes for lunch are made according to the family recipe, in general people use the internet in the first place to find recipes. It is the family’s taste what matters most when selecting the daily menu: 72% of respondents cook meals everybody likes and making a healthy and nutritious choice comes only second. Somewhat more than half of the respondents said it was important for them to prepare lunch from ingredients available at home. All in all, parents rather cook than order meals: only 7% voted for ordering.

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