Home-Cooked Meals vs. Eating Out (ESL Worksheet)

  • Lesson goal: Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension, Writing
  • Student level: Intermediate
  • Contents: a 300-word reading text, two exercises with comprehension questions, and an essay writing prompt.

Reading text

Preparing meals at home and dining out are two distinct experiences. When you cook your own meals, you have the ability to control the ingredients, the cooking method and the final outcome. You can opt for healthy options, make meals that adhere to your dietary restrictions, or simply create something that tastes amazing. Additionally, cooking at home can be more cost-efficient in the long run.

Conversely, going out to eat can be a pleasurable and stress-free experience. You don’t have to worry about the cooking or the clean-up, and you get to try new dishes that you may not be able to replicate at home. However, it can be more expensive, and you don’t always know the source of the ingredients or the preparation methods used. Furthermore, restaurant meals may not be as nutritious as home-cooked meals, as they often contain higher levels of fat, salt, and sugar.

Let the text read aloud to practice listening comprehension:

Exercise 1: Comprehension Questions (Yes or No)

Are the following statements correct or incorrect?

  1. Preparing meals at home allows you to have control over the ingredients, cooking method and outcome.
  2. Dining out can be more expensive than cooking at home.
  3. You always know the source of the ingredients and preparation methods when eating out.
  4. It’s easy to adhere to your dietary restrictions when you are eating in a restaurant.
  5. Eating out is always more nutritious than cooking at home.

Exercise 2: Comprehension Questions (Sentence)

Answer the following questions with a full sentence.

  1. What are the possible downsides of preparing meals at home?
  2. How can dining out be less stress-free than cooking at home?
  3. Why might eating out be more expensive?
  4. What are the benefits of knowing the source of the ingredients and preparation methods when eating out?
  5. What are the potential downsides of eating out in terms of nutrition?

Exercise 3: Vocabulary Matching

Match the following words from the reading text with their definitions:

  1. control
  2. dietary restrictions
  3. cost-efficient
  4. stress-free
  5. ingredients
  6. preparation methods
  7. nutritious

a. The process of getting ready for a particular purpose or situation
b. The ability to manage or direct something
c. not causing or involving stress
d. The things that are used to make a dish
e. A set of rules or guidelines that one must follow in order to maintain a healthy diet
f. not wasting money or resources
g. containing the right balance of nutrients to maintain good health

Exercise 4: Essay Writing Prompt

Weigh the pros and cons of preparing meals at home and dining out in your personal opinion. Explain, what you prefer and why.

Key for the teacher

Exercise 1

  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. No
  4. No
  5. No

Exercise 2

  1. Preparing meals at home can be time-consuming and less enjoyable.
  2. Eating out may not be as stress-free as it seems. It can also include waiting in line, dealing with crowds, and making choices from a menu
  3. Eating out can be more expensive because it includes costs such as labour, rent, and energy.
  4. Knowing the source of the ingredients and preparation methods when eating out can help to ensure food safety and to cater for dietary restrictions.
  5. Eating out can be less nutritious as restaurant meals often contain higher levels of fat, salt and sugar than home-cooked meals.

Exercise 3

  1. b
  2. e
  3. f
  4. c
  5. d
  6. a
  7. g

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