The purpose of this study was to understand adolescents’ from low-income households perceptions of their involvement in home food preparation, reasons underlying the extent to which they were involved, and positive and negative consequences associated with their involvement. Semistructured interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 19 adolescents (13-18 years). Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim. Themes were identified using grounded theory and the constant comparative method. Eight adolescents described cooking as a primary responsibility due to adult work and family schedules, age, gender, and/or cultural expectations. They were typically preparing food for themselves and their family without assistance, and making decisions about what was prepared. They identified positive and negative consequences including enjoyment and satisfaction, as well as stress and less time for other activities. Eleven adolescents mostly assisted the primary food preparer, with little input in deciding what was prepared. They identified benefits such as enjoyment and family interaction. Foods prepared by many adolescents tended to be quick and easy to prepare foods. Future studies should investigate the relationship between adultified cooking responsibilities, diet quality, and health. Also, cooking education for adolescents needs to address how to prepare a healthy family meal on a budget.
- home food preparation
- positive and negative consequences