Cooking at Home – 4 Ways It Can Make All the Difference

These days, with the economy faltering, people 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 are 4 ways it can make all the difference in your home and to your family.

Know all the ingredients used

When you cook your own meals and the meals of your family, you know what’s going into your food, all the ingredients used. Even if you don’t crunch numbers (calories, counts, etc.), 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.

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.

Save time

It takes less time than you think to cook at home. Many of us are daunted by the prospect of this 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.

Save even more time by planning

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. Running to the store in the middle of the afternoon or after work and standing in the store while you figure out what to make tonight chews up so much time, not to mention the stress it creates for both you and potentially your food budget.

Of course, it is healthier

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.

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.

So what are the next few steps you can take to enjoy healthier eating at home this week? Starting with just one meal you typically eat out can make a difference.

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