Fuzzy slippers, sweat pants, and tee shirts are the appropriate dinner attire for nearly six in ten Americans. According to this Marist Poll, 58% of Americans eat dinner at home at least six nights a week. Included here are 35% who report they dine in seven nights a week and 23% who do so six nights a week. Nearly one in five — 19% — are stuck with the dishes five nights weekly, and 24% clear the dinner table four or fewer times a week.
However, more Americans are dining out. When Marist last asked this question in 2009 soon after the economic collapse, 70% of residents ate dinner at home six or seven nights a week. 17%, at that time, ate in five nights a week while 13% stayed in four or fewer.
Women are more likely than men to eat dinner at home. 62% of women, compared with 53% of men, say they eat dinner in the comfort of their own home six or seven nights a week.
And, there is an age difference. Older Americans are more likely than younger Americans to eat in most nights. 64% of those 45 or older eat at home at least six nights a week. This compares with 49% of those younger than 45.
If you’re planning to fire up the grill this holiday weekend, there’s something you should know. Americans have varied food tastes! Hamburgers and cheeseburgers edge out the competition as the favorite barbecue food with 22% of residents preferring this barbecue delight. Ribs and steak come in a very close second with 20% each. Chicken receives 19% while hot dogs are the “top dog” for 9%. 7% of the population enjoy fish the most while 3% prefer veggie burgers.
Men and women have different culinary tastes. While men prefer ribs (24%) and steak (23%) the most, women choose chicken (24%) and burgers (22%) at a barbecue. Chicken is also the food of choice for those 60 and older (24%).
So, just how many residents plan on hosting or attending a barbecue this Fourth of July? 48% say they will celebrate America’s birthday in this way while 52% will not.
Those who are the most likely to enjoy a cookout are residents in the Northeast and South, those who earn $50,000 or more annually, and Americans under age 45.
Seventy percent of Americans choose to eat dinner at home at least six nights during an average week. And, when they do eat in, nearly all Americans, regardless of age, income, or region choose to cook rather than pull out the take-out menu.
Men more than women eat out at least two nights a week with one-third of men reporting that they eat at home 5 nights weekly or fewer. This compares with 28% of women. The take-out menu drawer gets slightly more action with men; 4% acknowledge that they order in more often than cooking.
Maybe, it’s the chilly nights or just good home-cooking, but just over half — 51% — of those in the Northeast eat at home every night of the week.
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Many Americans are mixing things up in the kitchen. More than three-quarters — 77% — report that they’ve tried a new recipe in the past year. Women tend to be more adventurous in their culinary experimentation than men. 85% of women compared with 68% of men say they’ve cooked up a new dish.
If It Ain’t Broke…
When it comes to creative cookery, Americans hesitate to mess around with dessert. 88% of those who tried a new recipe in the last year flexed their culinary muscle when creating a meal, while only 12% experimented with dessert.
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Americans are no strangers to rolling out their very own pizza pies. In fact, 71% of U.S. residents say they’ve made a pizza themselves. And, the number rises when looking at the number of parents who have baked this delicious Italian delight. 77% of Americans with children report they’ve made their own pizza.
But, gender, age, income, and geography all impact Americans’ culinary habits. More women than men — 75% compared with 67%, respectively — have baked a pizza. 78% of Americans under the age of 45 have done the same compared with 67% of their older counterparts. How does income factor in? About three-quarters of those who earn $50,000 or more have a pizza recipe in their epicurean repertoire compared with 66% of those making less. Looking at region, Midwesterners take the pie. 79% of residents living in that part of the country have created this savory treat themselves while 62% of residents living in the West admit to doing the same.
These tough economic times require cost-conscious measures, but when it comes to the dinner table, a majority of Americans try not to end up being penny-wise and pound foolish. In a March 2009 Marist Poll, 54% of Americans tell us they look for healthy alternatives in their everyday dinner recipes. 26% say their top recipe priority is its affordability, followed by 13% who want it to be fast, and 7% who need it to be kid-friendly.
However, money does matter. Households with a family income of less than $50,000 divide: 45% look for a recipe that is healthy but 40% say their top priority is affordability. This compares with 60% of families with an income of $100,000 or more who weigh healthy options highest.
And, as we age, concern with cost and speed declines and the value of healthy choices in the recipes we choose increases.
Nutrition Data: Know What You Eathttp://www.nutritiondata.com/
Dietary Guidelines for Americanshttp://www.health.gov/DietaryGuidelines/
Healthy and affordable: Recipeshttp://healthyrecipes.oregonstate.edu
Healthy and affordable: Money saving tipshttp://healthyrecipes.oregonstate.edu/stretching-food-dollars
Healthy dinner ideas from the Food Networkhttp://www.foodnetwork.com/ellies-healthy-dinner-ideas/video/index.html