As the school holidays continue, new research from energy company E.ON shows that almost half (44%) of parents in Birmingham are preparing multiple evening meals for their family, with the nation collectively wasting almost Â£213 million a year by running multiple cooking appliances such as ovens, microwaves and hobs. In addition to the extra energy used, parents are spending over six days a year and over Â£733 a year on additional food per household in Birmingham catering for their householdâs multiple meal requests. Ruling the kid-chen: â¢ Almost one in ten (7%) parents in Birmingham admit that their kids dictate whatâs on the menu when it comes to evening meals; â¢ Over two thirds (71%) confess itâs Mum that takes the time to plan evening meals; â¢ More than half (54%) say that they leave Mum to do the washing up too. The research also revealed that more than one in five (22%) parents in Birmingham blame their childrenâs fussy eating habits for having to cook multiple meals, and deciding what to eat causes arguments in a third of Birmingham households (33%). Other reasons cited for multiple meal habits in Birmingham included differing tastes between the adults and kids (47%), varied tastes (39%) and family members wanting to eat at different times (22%). Beverley Maguire, energy efficiency expert at E.ON, comments: âWe understand that catering for different situations can sometimes be necessary, but there are simple changes that can be made when preparing those additional evening meals which can help families in Birmingham use no more energy than they really need. âWith parents across the UK busy juggling many aspects of their lives, itâs no surprise that the energy implications of cooking multiple meals is often overlooked. Weâd urge all parents to consider the full costs of preparing lots of meals for their family â as well as the additional supermarket bill, the energy cost to cook them can add up too.â The E.ON research highlights the impact that cooking multiple meals has on a familyâs time and energy spend: Appliance Average extra time spent per day preparing multiple meals in the UK Extra cost per year Microwave 16 mins Â£12 Gas hob 20 mins Â£5 Electric hob 22 mins Â£13 Gas oven 21 mins Â£10 Electric oven 23 mins Â£15 E.ONâs top energy-saving tips for busy parents: 1. Recipes and cooking instructions on the food you buy often say to preheat your oven. But most modern ovens need very little time to get going â especially fan ovens. The less time the oven is on, the less money youâll be spending on energy. 2. Choose the hob ring that best matches the size of your saucepan so you use no more energy than you need. 3. Use a steamer to cook a whole range of vegetables in one go. 4. Use saucepan lids to keep the heat in and youâll be able to use a lower setting to keep things cooking, saving energy. 5. If you are already using the oven think about cooking other things as well. Fan ovens donât transfer flavours, just check the temperature is ok for different foods.