Publication Date

Fall 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging


John Gieng


Home cooking, Meal prep

Subject Areas



Consumption of food away from home is associated with higher caloric intake and poorer diet quality compared to home-cooked food. The advance quantity meal prep (AQMP) program is a group-based program developed to increase the frequency of consumption of home-cooked meals. The AQMP pilot study was a pre-experimental 6-week intervention aimed at analyzing the effects of the program on frequency of consumption of home-cooked meals, cooking attitudes, cooking self-efficacy, and anthropometric measures. Ten study participants met once a week at a commercial kitchen to prepare and package lunches, dinners, and snacks for the work week. A survey was administered and anthropometric measurements were taken at three time points: pre-program, immediately post-program, and 3 months post-program. The questionnaire measured: physical activity, cooking attitudes, cooking self-efficacy, and cooking behavior and consumption. Significant increases were seen in total cooking attitudes (P=0.02), cooking self-efficacy (P=0.002), and percentage of home-cooked dinner consumption (P=0.04). Significant decreases in weight (P=0.03), body fat mass (P=0.01), and BMI (P=0.03) were reported. The present pilot study indicates that advance quantity meal prep may contribute to increased cooking attitudes, cooking self-efficacy, and consumption of home-cooked dinners. Reduced weight, body fat, and BMI may also be a benefit of the AQMP program. Comparison to a control group would strengthen our conclusions.