In today’s busy world more and more often we are eating out or having ready made meals instead of cooking healthy meals from scratch. This is ok occasionally, unfortunately eating out too often can lead to weight gain over time. While there are some healthy choices available on menus and at the supermarket, these are often more expensive than cooking them at home.
When eating out, more often than not we choose less healthy options. Even options that appear healthier can still be loaded with kilojoules / calories, fat and refined sugars which can make a difference to our waistline over time.
Advantages of Cooking at Home
- You know the ingredients that is going into your food and thus can control what you eat
- Meals can be made healthier and more nutritious yet still tasty
- Healthier fats, carbohydrates and other nutritional properties can be used in meals even if some meals are higher in kilojoules / calories than others.
- It’s cheaper to cook at home
- It’s a great opportunity to get the kids to help you cook + learn how to cook, and you give a good example to show them that cooking meals at home is part of a healthy lifestyle
Cooking at Home doesn’t have to be time & labour intensive
We often feel that cooking at home from scratch will take forever and healthy meals are labour intensive but this doesn’t need to be the case. Here’s some tips:
- Keep it simple especially when time poor. Some simple meals could be a quick salad + tinned tuna/salmon/beans, steamed vegetables + grilled chicken, vegetable & beef stir-fry or a vegetable omelette
- Cook up some healthy meals on the weekend or on your day off and freeze them so that during the week you just need to heat and eat.
- Prepare meal ingredients on a day off so that assembling a meal during the week is quick. Try cooking or preparing several serves of steamed vegetables, grains e.g. rice or quinoa, salad ingredients and storing these in the fridge. Then during the week simply mix and match for a quick meal. This saves time and makes deciding what to eat easier
- Make a meal plan for the week so you know what you will having for all meals and snacks and then make a shopping list of all the healthy ingredients so you can go shopping and have everything at home available. This can help you get into a good routine.
- Always have quick meal ingredients available at home in case you are too tired or don’t feel like cooking. For example frozen vegetables, ready to go salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, tinned fish or beans, tinned tomatoes, stock, eggs etc
Cooking healthy meals at home may feel labour intensive but these meals tend to be more nutritious and lower in kilojoules / calories, fat and refined carbohydrates. Getting into the habit of cooking at home will help keep you and family healthier and may even save you some money too!