Cooking at Home - How It Can Make all the Difference
These days, with people more conscious on how they spend their money, more are turning to their home stoves and cookware rather than dialing up for take-out or delivery, or heading to a restaurant. Other times people choose to eat at home because they think it's healthier and better for the family, and finances are only part of that. Regardless, cooking at home can make all the difference. Here's how.
When you cook your own meals and the meals of your family, you know what's going into your food. Even if you don't crunch numbers, you can control the sodium, sugar, and caloric content when you cook your own food. Restaurant food often has all kinds of additives in it, not to mention astronomical amounts of sodium.
And when you cook at home, you won't be fooled by clever names or labels - restaurants may call a dish "multi-grain" which makes it sound healthy, but this could mean they just added a few sprinkles of various grains to a white-flour recipe.
Less Time Than You Think
Many people are daunted by the prospect of cooking at home because of the time it seems to take. But think about it - the time it takes to get everyone into the car, drive to a restaurant, park, wait for a person to take your order, and then wait for your order is significant.
Most meals take from 30 to 60 minutes to prepare, and clean-up maybe 30 minutes. And you can share these tasks with other family members which decreases the total hours spent. Cooking and cleaning up can be family time, too.
Once you've recognized that eating out isn't necessarily a time saver, you can begin to plan your at-home meals to save even more time. When you plan, you can fit your home-cooked meal into your everyday life. Mapping out a weekly menu complete with estimated cooking times is a great way to take control of your home cooking efforts. If you're just "winging it" every night, it can get exhausting.
Over and over, it's been shown that eating home-cooked meals made from whole ingredients is healthier. As noted above, you control what goes into your food when you cook it at home. If you use healthy, whole-food ingredients, your food is going to be nutritionally superior to the mass-produced stuff in restaurants.
Also, studies have shown that eating at home is healthier in other ways - families tend to be closer if they eat together, and children in such families tend to be healthier socially and otherwise.