Almost a third (33 per cent) of 16-24 year olds admit they have passed off a ready meal as their own creation when they wanted to impress someone according to a Department of Health.
The survey, conducted as part of the Department of Health’s 5 A DAY programme to encourage people to eat more fruit and vegetables, looked at young people’s attitudes to cooking and culinary ability, also revealed that 1 in 10 never cook a proper meal for themselves because they ‘don’t know how’.
To help, the Department of Health has produced a new free recipe guide, Fuel for Living, which provides simple and cost effective recipe ideas and tips to assist students in the kitchen and help them boost their consumption of fruit and vegetables as well as special offers for Harpers gyms and Whitworths dried fruit snacks.
Health Minister, Caroline Flint said:
'This handy booklet will help young people cook up a tasty dish for themselves or someone they want to impress. Whether they are making their favourite roasts or spaghetti bolognese or need to cook in a hurry, want tips on what to eat during exams or how to make their existing meals more healthy it’s all in this booklet. There are some money saving vouchers in there too so it is well worth getting your hands on one. It is important that people look after themselves and get their 5 A DAY as this will keep them looking good, feeling great and can protect against heart disease and cancer later in life.'
The survey came up with some other interesting findings:
- Women are more impressed by a man’s cooking ability than whether they own a flashy car
- A roast, steak and curry were voted the top three best ways to your loved ones’ hearts
- Almost half (47 per cent) think it’s appropriate to cook for a new love interest after just a few weeks
- Cooking ability is also rated highly by the boys who prefer a good cook to sporting prowess or money
- Traditional English food is rated more highly than continental cuisine. Despite the popularity of pasta dishes, 40 per cent of those surveyed said that they prefer English to any other cuisine with roast dinner coming out top. Italian comes in second favourite, chosen by 18 per cent of respondents
Nearly 40 per cent of women and 22 per cent of men admit trying to impress someone by passing off shop bought food as their own and 7 per cent of those questioned even admit that they have taken credit for something they have bought ‘on many occasions’.
The Fuel for Living booklet includes easy recipes for the top meals that young people said they like to cook for themselves and for someone else to cook for them along with tips about eating more healthily on the run.
Eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day can help people look good and feel great and, in the long term, may help reduce the risk of the two main killers in the UK: heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C, which is found in many fruit and vegetables, helps the body absorb iron which improves concentration levels. And it’s easier than many people think: fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables, and 100 per cent juices and smoothies all count towards the 5 A DAY target.