Between work, school, homework and housework, meal time with family can get lost in the shuffle. According to a Cambridge University study, shared meals among family are more likely to have diets higher in nutritional quality. Incorporating a plant protein, such as tofu into your family meal routine is just as helpful on your wallet as it is health. We’ve all heard the benefits of tofu - its heart healthy and a high quality protein (containing all nine essential amino acids needed by our body), but it’s also an inexpensive protein option. On average, a package of tofu ranges from $.99 - $1.99. With the unpredictable prices of meat, tofu can be a great choice for families on a budget.
The trend of increased spending on eating out has been prevalent over the last few decades. In 2015, U.S. households spent an average 12.5% of their income on food, 43% of which accounted for food away from home. In the 12 month period from October 2015 to October 2016, meals at home continued to decline, while food away from home rose 2.4%. Various reasons such as lack of time, convenience or more affordable fast food outlets are contributing factors for this increase. Providing easy and affordable meal solutions and time-saving tips can help engage and inspire shoppers to enjoy more meals at home.
- Meal-prep recipe ideas are great for shoppers with busy schedules. Meal prepping on Sundays or slow-cooker recipes can help save time in the kitchen during the week.
- Quick how-to cooking videos can help show how easy and approachable at home cooking can be.
- Budget-friendly cooking classes in store can help educate shoppers on how to pick fresh seasonal produce and other ingredients that are healthy and affordable. With the high cost of meat and rising trend of plant-based foods, try incorporating tofu as the main protein. It’s inexpensive, versatile and easy to cook with. Pairing it with other seasonal veggies in a stir-fry is a good way to demonstrate a wholesome meal with affordable ingredients.
Try this tasty Tofu Quinoa Salad made with tofu, quinoa, black beans and fresh veggies!
 Cambridge University, Public Health Nutrition, Volume 16, Issue 5, May 2013, Shared meals among young adults are associated with better diet quality and predicted by family meal patterns during adolescence.
 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, October 2016, High-income households spent half of their food budget on food away from home in 2015.
https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/high-income-households-spent-half-of-their-food-budget-on-food-away-from-home-in-2015.htm (visited July 11, 2017).
 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, November 2016, Food at home prices down 2.3 percent over the year; food away from home prices up 2.4 percent.
https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/food-at-home-prices-down-2-point-3-percent-over-the-year-food-away-from-home-prices-up-2-point-4-percent.htm (visited July 11, 2017)