In this age of microwave meals, takeaway foods, and other convenient food options, the art of making a home-cooked meal is lost on some. This is a shame, as there are so many benefits to eating something homemade as we have outlined below.
#1: You can save money
Eating something homemade is far cheaper than a restaurant, microwave, or takeaway alternative, especially if you shop wisely for ingredients. You can cook up something delicious for your family to enjoy, such as this great Tamale Pie recipe, and still have enough money left over to create a dessert.
If you buy all the ingredients you need early, you can also plan and prepare your meals in advance. You can then stick them in the freezer and enjoy them later in the week, perhaps on days when you’re otherwise too busy to cook. This is certainly one way to resist the temptation to splash out on a takeout meal.
You can have a healthier bank balance when you eat more home-cooked meals, and as can be seen in the next point, you can be healthier too.
#2: You can live a healthier lifestyle
Microwave meals are generally high in fat and overloaded with sugar, which really isn’t very good for us at all. The same applies to takeout meals, especially when you’re buying from a place that has very few healthy options. This isn’t helpful, especially when you’re trying to care for both your own health and that of your family. This is why it’s beneficial to eat more home-cooked meals.
When you create your own meals, you are in control of the ingredients. You can choose the freshest produce you can find or use the vegetables that you have grown in your garden. You can also eat the foods you enjoy from the takeout but you can make them in a healthier way. You could make burgers with lean meats in place of anything more fatty, for example, or you could bake veggie fries using sweet potatoes.
#3: You can control the portion size
Restaurants and fast food places often give you too little or too much, with no in-between. This can be annoying, especially when you’re left hungry or forced to leave leftovers. But when you’re at home, you can control how much food you eat. Provided you measure things out correctly, you can create a meal that fits your personal needs. In a nod to the last point, this is a healthy thing to do, as you will be better able to count the calories that end up on your plate.
#4: You can avoid food allergies
It’s not easy to avoid food allergies when you’re buying a meal from an outside source. Menus don’t always cater to people with particular allergies and even when they do, there is still a risk that the wrong ingredients have been used. You don’t expect to feel ill after eating out or after ordering a takeout, but there is a chance you could if you suffer an allergic reaction.
When you eat a home-cooked meal, you are in charge of everything that goes into it. You can avoid any ingredients that could be problematic and you can use the relevant alternatives. This can give you more peace of mind when you’re eating, which can’t be said in a restaurant when you’re worrying about what to order.
#5: You can save time
There is the belief that takeout foods will save you time, as you won’t have to spend long in the kitchen. This is partly true but you still have to wait for the food to arrive. With a home-cooked meal, you will have to prepare it yourself. But as many meals can be made in 20 minutes or less, you don’t need to spend a long time in the kitchen. And besides, you could always put your food in a slow cooker in the morning. This way, you wouldn’t need to spend time cooking when you get home from work.
#6: You can get the kids involved
Provided you’re prepared to put up with a mess in the kitchen, you could involve your kids in the meal prep. They could rinse the veggies, cut up some of the ingredients, and mix items of food together. You will need to keep an eye on them of course and instruct them in health and safety, but if they’re responsible, it can be a great educational experience. They might even eat their vegetables if they have had a hand in preparing them beforehand!
There are lots of recipes on our website, so if you’re considering what to make for your next home-cooked meal, check out the food examples we have included!