Most family meals are prepared by women, finds survey.

Men have been given a grilling in a new survey looking at our dinner habits.

The NZ Diner Menu survey by My Food Bag has found just 32 per cent of Kiwi blokes regularly take charge in the kitchen - and just one in four men cook dinner every or most nights.

And when blokes did get in the kitchen, they were more likely (22 per cent) to opt for processed foods than women were (10 per cent), the survey found.

When told of the results, keen cook and Radio Hauraki DJ Leigh Hart challenged Kiwi gents to do their bit in the kitchen.


"I enjoy cooking so I do at least half," he said. "But in terms of the people I know, the women tend to do a lot more."

Hart believed men were gaining confidence to take charge come dinner time.

And he said pre-packaged meals should be used to encourage more reluctant males to do their bit in the kitchen.

"I think nowadays with a lot food being semi-prepared, men probably are backing themselves to do a half-decent meal."

My Food Bag, comprised of ingredients and recipes designed by MasterChef 2011 winner Nadia Lim, was launched in 2013.

It leads the market for cook-at-home food delivery services, a market which has grown from almost nothing to now having delivered more than 9 million meals in 14 cities in just over two years.

Cecilia Robinson, My Food Bag's chief executive, said the survey seemed to reflect her reality. "My husband and I are co founders and owners of My Food Bag, although my husband still isn't cooking unless it's on the BBQ."

In her native Sweden, she said, there was more of a gender balance in the kitchen. She hoped Kiwi men would increasingly seek to cook up a storm. "It's really a cultural thing, something that's conditioned into a society. It's changing, hopefully."

Leigh's cooking tips

• Don't psych yourself out - cooking is supposed to be fun. "A lot of men think, 'What if I get the recipe slightly wrong', but I've never had a disaster just by giving things a crack."

• Practice cooking for your kids until you feel confident enough to present your cooking to adults. "Kids don't have this pretence of what a meal's supposed to be - it either tastes good or it doesn't."

• Don't agonise over mistakes. "Just tip it down the sink and start again. Who cares ?"

• It's only food, so get into the kitchen and give it a go. "It's hardly rocket science. What's the worst that could happen?"