How to encourage younger generations to consume more home cooked meals rather than eating out?

Chatting with a friend yesterday, we were discussing about meal preparations, fussy eaters and young adults being too busy to cook …

Our children are young adults and in the workforce. Most of the time, they will eat out, skip breakfast, eating “junk” (unhealthy repacked meals) and gaining unnecessary weight along the way. As parents, it is hard to see your children make bad food choices, and abuse their healthy bodies for the sake of convenience.

I am an advocate of cooking at home and consuming as many home cooked meals as possible.


Because it is much healthier and cost effective if you cook at home!

However, due to work, young adults sometimes eat out / have take away after work. So they may be having two meals in the city, i.e. eating out more than eating in.

So how do you encourage the younger generations to consume more home cooked meals rather than eating out?

A suggestion that I can share: where possible, get them to have a healthy breakfast before work, a home cooked dinner if they do come back after work, and pack lunches to take to work if possible.

Is it possible to encourage them to pack lunches for work?

I have two young adults and I know my son enjoys sampling food other than home cooked meals. It is the variety that he is after, and I also believe it is the effort of packing lunches that is not that appealing to him. However, he will still pack lunches for work when he knows that he is going to be desk bound in the office during the busy periods.

As for my daughter, she prefers the savory and “light” (non greasy) dishes from home, as she finds some food from the city can be too rich at times. She would pack lunches for work 3 -4 days a week, and allows 1-2 days to sample the amazing array of food that our city has to offer with her colleagues.

Personally, I would not be able to do much now that my children are grown up.  However, the reason they are still packing lunches for work occasionally is because:

  • I used to pack their lunches for primary and high school, so it has become a habit that they would prefer something from home for a few days a week.
  • I talk about the nutritional value of home cook dishes, i.e. less oily, better quality ingredients that go in our dishes.
  • I instill the mindset of good budgeting when they pack lunches.
  • I add a variety to their food choices from home, especially what they like to eat.

Would love to hear your thoughts and your experiences about your children’s food choices.