Life as a parent isn’t perfect. It’s real, it’s unruly, and it isn’t always pretty, which has inspired the maker of Catelli pasta to explore the notion of getting real about parenting.Whether it’s negotiating with your tween to get dressed for school, convincing your toddler there are benefits to eating veggies or answering 20 questions on anything and everything; parenthood can often be a challenging balancing act.

 to delve further into real parenting moments. The study uncovered revealing truths about today’s modern family, and the daily challenges Canadian parents face, many of which involve mealtime.

Instead of approaching the survey from the perspective of what parenting “should” look like, they wanted to get real about parenting and in doing so discovered that almost two-thirds of Canadian parents (61%) would actually give up social media, chocolate or wine for their children to eat healthier during meal time.

“Parents are doing the best they can, which is why we want to eliminate the pressure they are putting on themselves. Not only are we giving them a platform to share their real stories, but also inspiring, connecting and reassuring them that many others are faced with similar experiences daily,” says Claire Labrom, Brand Manager for Catelli pasta. “There’s no need to feel stressed about whether you’re measuring up to parenting ideals. We have proof that most of us are happier when approaching parenthood on our own terms – so this is what we should focus on because being real feels good.”

It’s pressures like these that can often lead to guilt, stress, and feelings of isolation among parents. So to reassure Canadian parents that being real about these experiences feels good, Catelli has been working with parents across the country and encouraging them to share and celebrate their real-life parenting stories.

Real Feels Good

In a society where everybody is striving for perfection – to make their lives ‘Instagram-able’ plus ‘Pinterest-worthy’, it’s no wonder parents are constantly stressing about what their kids are eating, feeling guilty that they’re not the type of parent they want to be, or “should be”, and comparing themselves to other parents.  According to the poll, 88% of Canadian parents admitted that they feel better when they focus on what works best for their family instead of comparing themselves to others – which is why Catelli is striving to remove the guilt and the pressure Canadian parents are putting themselves under from coast-to-coast.

From the media to friends and family – and even ourselves, parents expressed where the pressure and guilt appear to be stemming from when it comes to healthy eating and spending time as a family:

  • Pressure to be healthy

    The survey revealed about half of Canadian parents feel pressured when it comes to ensuring they’re feeding their family good, healthy meals. Parents are most concerned with pressure from their own family or friends (30%) or the media (28%).

  • Stressful eating habits

    In fact, more than a third (37%) of Canadian parents feel overwhelmed by the sense of responsibility to raise their children with healthy eating habits, with 43% stressing about their children’s eating habits at least once a day.

  • What do we make for the kids? 

    Over one quarter (26%) feel guilty that they do not know how or what to prepare as a healthy meal for their children.

  • Quality time guilt

    Nearly half of parents feel guilty about spending time on their phone or computer when around their kids (45%) and feel guilty about not giving their children as much attention as they would like (44%).

Real Parenting Truths: Mealtime battles

The survey also found that almost 50% of Canadian parents say their children refuse to eat the food they’re served at least once a week. While almost half (46%) of parents feel frustrated when they give in at meal time, to let their children eat what they want – signaling that battling exists at the dinner table, and many parents are in the same boat when it comes to mealtime struggles.

The reality is that the modern Canadian dinner table has changed significantly in recent years; with just four in 10 families eating dinner together every night – and that’s okay.

“Eating together as a family doesn’t come around as often as it used to, so when it does, we want parents to focus their attention on enjoying the experience,” continues Labrom. “Getting your kids to eat anything (especially something healthy) can be overwhelming at the best of times, so we have been working with real parents to develop simple, quick, tasty and above all, nutritious meals kids will enjoy – showing parents that a healthy dish, doesn’t necessarily have to be a difficult one.”

In addition to its traditional portfolio of products, Catelli Pasta has a range of health and wellness pasta including Catelli Smart® – a white pasta that is high in fibre, Catelli Gluten Free, and Catelli Ancient Grains – the only 100 percent Canadian whole grain wheat pasta of its kind.

“We want to remind parents that parenthood can be a challenge for everyone, so there’s no need to feel guilty – or alone,” concludes Labrom. “We’re excited to share the results of our study and to reveal our real feels good campaign message; which we hope will motivate parents to join the conversation, by sharing their real-life experiences with each other.”

To find out more about the Catelli Pasta Real Feels Good campaign, visit or join the conversation on social using #RealFeelsGood.