MORE than one-quarter of parents never cook with their children, and one in eight families never prepare a meal in their oven, according to a survey.

One-fifth of eight to 15-year-olds say they have never cooked at home while more than half of parents (54 per cent) claim a lack of space prevents their children from cooking, the poll found.

Some 28 per cent of parents never cook with their children and 12 per cent say they never use their kitchen to cook a meal in the oven.

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Most parents watch cookery shows (72 per cent) or look at recipes in magazines (62 per cent) or online (68 per cent) and almost half do all three (47 per cent). But more than one-quarter of parents (28 per cent) admit they spend more time thinking about cooking than actually doing it.

Television chef and cookery author, Lisa Faulkner, said: "I know how lucky and thankful I am that my mum cooked together with me and passed on her love and knowledge about food.

"For me, cooking's as important a skill as reading and writing."

Kristen Kinkella, spokesman for Uncle Ben's which carried out the survey, said: "Evidence shows that kids are more likely to eat a meal when they help prepare it and that when families eat together, they are more likely to eat healthier foods."