Business & Policy Food Issues Here's How Americans Are Cooking and Eating By Melissa Breyer Editorial Director Hunter College F.I.T., State University of New York Cornell University Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. She is a sustainability expert and author whose work has been published by the New York Times and National Geographic, among others. our editorial process Melissa Breyer Updated December 21, 2018 ©. S_Photo Share Twitter Pinterest Email Business & Policy Corporate Responsibility Environmental Policy Economics Food Issues A new Neilson survey sheds some light on the eating habits of people from coast to coast. Do you eat with family? Do you cook at home or dine out? Do you plan your meals? Media research company Nielsen asked these and other questions about cooking and eating on behalf of Plated. The data and replies offer some interesting insight about what's going on it the American household. Consider the following. TV Dinners? One in 4 households eat in front of a screen every night. The family meal About 1 in 3 households eat dinner with their entire household every night of the week. Home cooks Despite an abundance of prepared meal and restaurant delivery options, over 7 in 10 households prepare dinner at home 5 days or more per week Instagram as muse Home cooks are getting recipe inspiration from social media. 34 percent of home cooks said they saw something on social media that influenced them to try a new dinner recipe, compared to 17 percent who were influenced by a cookbook. Cook it, snap it People are sharing home-cooked meals on their social media, with 22 percent of home cooks posting photos of their dinners on social (and 44 percent of millennials doing so) Cooking solo versus cooking together More than half of home cooks overall prefer to prepare dinner alone. However, when it comes to home cooks who are married or have a significant other, 54 percent prefer to cook with their partner. And, when it comes to families, 31 percent say they like to cook with their kids. Millennials pair up More than any other age group, millennial home cooks with a significant other prefer cooking as a couple, with 68 percent saying they prefer to prepare dinner with their partner. Intentional leftovers 70 percent of home cooks prepare dinner with plans to have enough for leftovers. To plan or not to plan 3 in 4 households do not plan weekly dinner meals ahead of time. That said, 38 percent of millennials plan weekly dinner meals ahead of time versus 24 percent of home cooks overall. What’s cooking? Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Spanish, and Mediterranean, respectively, are the most popular types of recipes home cooks are interested in preparing at home. Kitchen adventures Millennials are more likely to have tried new dinner recipes. Over 25 percent have tried a new recipe in the last week and more than half have tried a new recipe within the last two weeks.