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Cooking at Home for Your Health

June 14, 2016 by Beth Danowsky RD CLCwith 0 comments

When we are trying to keep our weight and check and stay healthy, one valuable tool is trying to cook more meals at home.

In an already busy day, the thought of taking the extra time to prepare a home-cooked meal may sound daunting. Many of us don’t like to cook or were never really taught how. The great news is that many healthy meals can be prepared in 30 minutes or less!

Cooking can be a revolutionary act to take back our healthy and have some fun in the process too. Sure, it may take some effort to get started and change is always toughest in the beginning, but your body will thank you in the long run… When we cook at home we have more control and get to make choices of what goes in our food. Food prepared at restaurants often use cheap cooking oils, lower quality animal products and heap our plates full of more starchy carbs than we need at a meal. Over time, these choices expand our waist line and deplete our energy. This also means there is less room for the healthy fuel that our body needs to feel its best.

Don’t like to cook? Many healthy meals can be prepared in 30 minutes or less! It might take a little effort to get started, but your body will thank you in the long run.

Here are some tips for cooking at home that will help you maintain a healthy weight:

1. Prepare ahead. Start by stocking up your pantry with healthy foods. Pre-chop vegetables for the week and write down what meals you would like to make before heading to the grocery store. Too busy too shop? Use local services like freshBOX to do the shopping and planning for you!

2. Get the family involved. No need to go it alone! Get your children and significant other in on the process. It can be a fun way to spend time together and makes the cooking process so much faster.

3. Use frozen fruits and veggies. Fresh vegetables and fruit are healthy but sometimes inconvenient. Keep favorite frozen fruits and vegetables on hand at all times for a quick meal add-on. They are just as healthy as their fresh counterpart, and can help you add more color to your plate without making multiple trips to the store each week.

4. Buy ready-to-eat items such as baby carrots, pre-chopped broccoli florets or squash and salad mixes to save you time chopping and sorting in the kitchen. Sometimes you pay more for these items, so you have to decide what is worth the splurge.

5. Keep your favorite recipes on hand. Whether it be a binder, recipe box, or favorite recipe book, keep your most loved recipes on hand and close to the kitchen. When you are pressed for time or energy, go for one-pot-meals or large volume recipes such as a stew or crockpot recipe that provide ample leftovers.

6. Eat together. One of the most important times to connect is at the end of the day. Families who’s children eat meals together have higher test scores and IQ’s. Make it a priority to eat as a family at least a couple times each week.

Are these tips helpful? What other tips help you eat more meals at home?

 

Beth Danowsky, MS, RD, LD

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