7 reasons you should cook at home
Do you cook at home every night?
I feel like I should start with a full disclosure that I’m certainly no chef and I don’t particularly like spending time in the kitchen. With that being said, I still have a home cooked meal on our table almost every night.
Although I would love to order out every night and not cook and clean dishes there are too many reasons why I don’t. Research proves that eating a home cooked meal with family on a regular basis leads to happier and healthier kids. So here are a few reasons why my meals are cooked at home and eaten with the family.
1-It’s always more nutritious.
By cooking your own meals you can make sure you’re getting the most nutritious ingredients in your family’s bellies every night. Too often, when you eat out, you are getting something that has been frozen or preserved. There are hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, the list goes on and on. Being able to put fresh ingredients in a meal ups the nutritional value and excludes all the things you don’t want.
2-You know exactly what’s in your food.
This one may be the most important to me. I never gave it much thought until I had a baby to feed but you really don’t know exactly what’s in anything you get while eating out. You can help avoid allergic reactions this way and over all keep you kids and family healthy. You can also cut down on the sugar and processed foods.
3-You get to spend family time.
There is nothing like sitting around a table and eating a meal with family. You get an opportune time to ask each other how your days were and talk. I am starting this habit now because I know once my little man gets older and is in school, knowing what is going on while I’m not there is way more important. The only way I will get that information is if my son and I have easy and open communication. You can also get your kids involved in the cooking process as well. This is a great opportunity to begin teaching them new skill while spending quality time together.
4-It saves money.
This one is kind of a no brainer to me. It is much cheaper to cook at home than to eat out. On top of that you can control what kind of food budget you spend. There are tons of low budget delicious meals you can fix to save even more money! By sitting down once a week and planning it out you can stay on whatever budget you set for yourself.
5-You can pick your portions.
When you eat out you get the amount of food that they serve you. It may be too little and leave you wanting to order more(and spend more) or it may be too much and you eat until you are overly full. By cooking at home you can dish out the exact amount you want to eat. You can go back for seconds if you want more. Even better, you can cook enough to have leftovers for lunch to next day. Being able to control your portions saves both time and money.
6-It saves time.
I know some of you may think I’m crazy on this one but it really is true. The average time I spend fixing a home cooked meal is was less time that it would take me to drive somewhere, wait on an order and then head home. Keep in mind I don’t fix any 43 step complicated meals, and you don’t have to either. My crockpot is my best friend, especially in the colder months. I do a grocery run once a week and some prep like chopping veggies after I shop. I take steps to make my meals quicker and easier. A meal plan is key to saving the most amount of time possible.
7-Cooking at home improves your health.
It has been proven that by eating a home cooked meal every night you and your kids are less likely to suffer from health issues like obesity and diabetes. On average you consume more calories eating out than you do when you eat at home. Their are tons of health benefits to cooking at home! You may not even realize the good decisions you are making when you set out to cook a meal for your family but you are saving your health little by little.
Do you need a little motivation to cook?
If you’re like me and the thought of getting in the kitchen simply does not excite you at all here are some way you can try to boost that motivation.
- Make your kitchen a place you enjoy. Would a new set of pots and pans do the trick? Maybe a fresh coat of paint will make it feel more inviting? I’m not talking a crazy overhaul here just something simple you could ask for for that birthday you have coming up or maybe mother’s day. If you have something to love about or in your kitchen you will want to spend more time there.
- Invest in a crock pot! Seriously guys it will be your best friend. Did you know you can put a whole chicken in there with just a little salt and pepper and a few hours later your main dish is done? A crock pot makes it a million times easier for someone who has a busy schedule or is just trying to get in the habit of cooking nightly.
- Don’t over do it. You don’t have to cook a gourmet meal every night. We all have nights that a frozen pizza or chicken nuggets and mac and cheese are all we have the energy to throw together. So, don’t feel the pressure to over do it. Cook things you and your family enjoy to eat. If you have spaghetti once a week then so be it, it will be eaten and loved every week.
- Get others involved. Letting your kids get involved and help when they can is a great experience. You get to start developing skills and interest that will benefit them in the future and spend time together. This is also a great tip for girls night. A few of my girl friends get together every sunday night. Sometimes we take turns cooking, some nights we each bring a dish, and sometimes we help each other out with fixing a meal. It lightens the load and we all get to spend time together. My kitchen becomes my favorite place when it’s filled with the ladies I love!
- Keep basic ingredients in stock. Having the right spices or flour or sugar makes things much easier. Know what you use on a regular basis and keep it in your pantry. No more running to the store or changing dinner plans when you are out of something.
- Meal plan, meal plan, meal plan! Having a plan is everything. It saves time, money and stress.
Do you want to plan what’s for dinner and run to to grocery store yet?
I hope so! These 7 reasons you should cook at home are probably just the tip of the iceberg, but they have got me convinced. I truly look forward to sitting around the table with my family every night. The fact that I’m saving our health, saving time, saving money, and so much more are just the icing on the cake.
Do you cook at home on a regular basis? Drop your favorite meals to fix in the comments below, I’d love to hear them!