IJERPH, Vol. 18, Pages 9827: Cooking, Shopping, and Eating Behaviors of African American and Hispanic Families: Implications for a Culturally Appropriate Meal Kit Intervention (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Families with low incomes face barriers to preparing healthy meals, including decreased food access and limited time, and may turn to fast, low-quality, and inexpensive foods. Affordable and accessible meal kits may reduce these barriers. The objective of this study was to explore the cooking, eating, and shopping behaviors of African American (AA) and Hispanic participants living in the United States with low incomes and determine the knowledge of and preferences for a culturally appropriate meal kit intervention. Trained researchers conducted focus groups using a semi-structured questionnaire with AA and Hispanic food preparers with low incomes. Participant cooking, eating, and shopping behaviors and knowledge of and preferences for a culturally appropriate meal kit intervention were evaluated using thematic analysis. AA participants (N = 16) reported cooking on average 2 to 3 days per week and more often on weekends. Hispanic participants (N = 15) reported cooking 5 days per week and more often during the week. Both groups identified cost as the number one consideration when shopping. Most were unfamiliar with meal kits but indicated they would try an affordable meal kit. AA and Hispanic participants differed in their cooking, eating, and shopping behaviors but were equally interested in trying meal kits if affordable and culturally appropriate.