Why home cooking is great for your health

There are some good reasons to participate in the pleasure of home cooking – even if you're just preparing food for yourself!

19 June 2014
by Jade Robyn Davies

Some people eat to satisfy their will to survive, while others revel in the simple pleasures of cooking and enjoying the meal. When you eat, you are feeding your body and soul. Satisfying that craving for a hearty home-cooked meal is second to none, and the results are often a lot healthier than if you’d bought a ready meal.

Cooking is fun (really!)

Cooking need not be a chore. Rather than seeing it as another item on your long to-do list, approach cooking with these points in mind:

  • Cooking encourages creativity. Why not let your inner chef out and experiment with dishes you’ve never dared to try? Use new ingredients and flavours to excite tastebuds, and don’t be afraid of the dish not turning out according to plan – misadventures in the kitchen are a necessary part of the process.
  • Cooking is a great way to cure boredom. Instead of sitting in front of the TV with a bowl of junk food, cook a healthy meal for yourself. It will keep you constructively busy and you’ll have something to show for your time afterwards.
  • Cooking with kids teaches them important life skills, as well as basic maths (when measuring quantities) and reading (when there’s a recipe involved). It’s also a healthy bonding exercise: kids love getting involved and getting their hands dirty. You can be sure they’ll remember precious moments with you in the kitchen long after they’ve flown the nest.

Nutritional benefits

Cooking at home means you are in complete control of the ingredients you use with the result that your meals will be a lot healthier, provided you make smart choices, of course.

Cook with natural, unprocessed ingredients as far as possible, serve small portions, steam or bake instead of frying or boiling (when you boil your meat and vegetables, you literally wash the nutrients out of your food), and limit the amount of salt and fat that you add to dishes. These guidelines are a winning recipe for healthy home cooking.

Cooking at home will save you money

Budget wisely and you will be amazed at how far your money can stretch in the kitchen. Here are a few tips:

  • Ration your ingredients.
  • Look out for specials.
  • Buy in bulk wherever you can – dried and canned goods stay fresh for ages.
  • Plan your meals: By having a weekly meal plan you are able to keep track of what you need and what leftover ingredients you can use later in the week.
  • Buy house brands: Items like rice and flour are the same regardless of what brand you choose; go for the in-house brands and save!

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