Modern transference of domestic cooking skills

Fiona Lavelle, Tony Benson, Lynsey Hollywood, Dawn Surgenor, Amanda McCloat, Elaine Mooney, Martin Caraher, Moira Dean*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
196 Downloads (Pure)


As the primary source of learning cooking skills; it is vital to understand what mothers think about the transference of cooking skills to their children. The current analysis aimed to highlight mothers’ perceptions of children’s involvement and cooking practices within the home setting. Sixteen focus group discussions were conducted on the island of Ireland (Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland [UK]) with 141 mothers aged 20–39 years old. All focus groups were transcribed verbatim and an inductive thematic analysis using NVivo software was undertaken. Seven themes emerged from the dataset; (1) “How we learned to cook”; (2) “Who’s the boss”; (3) “Children in the way”; (4) “Keep kids out”; (5) “Involvement means eating”; (6) “Intentions versus reality”; and (7) “Kids’ ‘interest’ in cooking”. These themes illustrate a lack of cooking skill transference in relation to everyday meal preparation in modern times. The culture of children in the kitchen has vastly changed; and opportunities for children to learn basic skills are currently limited. Further research is required to confirm the findings that emerged from this analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number870
Number of pages13
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2019


  • Adolescents
  • Children
  • Cooking
  • Environmental influences
  • Learning
  • Mothers
  • Obesity
  • Qualitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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