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This study aimed to understand parents' evaluations of the way they integrated work-family demands to manage food and eating. Employed, low/moderate-income, urban, U.S., Black, White, and Latino mothers (35) and fathers (34) participated in qualitative interviews exploring work and family conditions and spillover, food roles, and food-choice coping and family-adaptive strategies. Parents expressed a range of evaluations from overall satisfaction to overall dissatisfaction as well as dissatisfaction limited to work, family life, or daily schedule. Evaluation criteria differed by gender. Mothers evaluated satisfaction on their ability to balance work and family demands through flexible home and work conditions, while striving to provide healthy meals for their families. Fathers evaluated satisfaction on their ability to achieve schedule stability and participate in family meals, while meeting expectations to contribute to food preparation. Household, and especially work structural conditions, often served as sizeable barriers to parents fulfilling valued family food roles. These relationships highlight the critical need to consider the intersecting influences of gender and social structure as influences on adults' food choices and dietary intake and to address the challenges of work and family integration among low income employed parents as a way to promote family nutrition in a vulnerable population.

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