It seems as though you can’t turn on the TV right now without finding a cooking show on your screen, with The Great British Bake Off, The Big Family Cooking Showdown and Jamie’s Quick & Easy just a few of the culinary programmes on at the moment.
Despite the wealth of #foodspiration on our TVs, around one-fifth of Brits have admitted that they only cook a meal from scratch once a week on average, relying instead on ‘ping’ meals, takeaways and processed convenience foods.
The BBC Good Food Nation Survey 2017 found that over-55s tend to cook the most often, with 86 per cent making meals from scratch at least twice a week. Among 18 to 24-year-olds, this dropped to just 71 per cent, suggesting that a mix of laziness, busyness and general lack of confidence in the kitchen could be holding nearly one-third of millennials back from cooking up a storm on a regular basis.
Some 26 per cent of respondents said they’d be interested in learning to become a better chef via YouTube in the future and 11 per cent were considering using virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri to brush up on their cooking skills. This suggests that all those cooking shows might not be quite hitting the mark with the younger generation in our increasingly online and app-driven society.
Could millennials’ cooking attitudes be passed down from their parents? Some 88 per cent of mums and dads said they regularly made sandwiches for their kids’ lunchboxes, but this means 12 per cent don’t. Instead, three per cent of parents are sneaking in doughnuts and 25 per cent are filling their little ones’ packed lunches with chocolate.
More parents are putting fresh fruit in their little ones’ lunchboxes though, with 56 per cent regularly adding in an apple, 51 per cent giving them bananas and 37 per cent opting to include other fruit, showing that some healthy habits are being encouraged from a young age.
Rustling up healthy food doesn’t need to take a lot of time and effort; something as simple as putting together a tasty salad counts as cooking from scratch, while placing the ingredients for a stew in our Cook4Me will provide you with a healthy warming meal in minutes, perfect for when you get in from a long day in the colder months.
Sharing the cooking with your partner can also help to make sure you’re both eating healthy home-cooked meals on a more regular basis. The survey found that people in Northern Ireland are currently most likely to share meal prep responsibilities, while it’s least common in Wales.
Cooking from scratch is healthier and more affordable than eating out or ordering in all the time, and it can be a lot more fun – keep it quiet, but it can even taste better too. Unleash your inner Jamie or Nigella and don’t be afraid to try new recipes – the joy of discovering your new favourite dish could be just around the corner.