We asked James Briscione, the director of culinary development at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, to prove it by preparing some examples of a day’s worth of home-cooked meals totaling about 2,000 calories, everything included. You can see the delectable results. It’s worth noting that you can just as easily stay under 2,000 calories with a simpler daily menu that includes, say, Cheerios, soup, a roll, a yogurt snack, fajitas, rice and beans, a salad, dessert and beverages. Such a menu may take more than time than fast food — which is why restaurant meals can be so appealing for time-stretched lower-income families. But the cost itself doesn’t need to be a barrier: Home-cooked meals are often cheaper than even fast food.