Growing up, there were a few of Mom's rules you just didn't break. First, you made your bed every morning, no exceptions. Second, shoes came off before you traipsed through the house. And third, you showed up at the dinner table at 6 p.m. on the dot – or else.
People who frequently cook meals at home eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less. When it comes down to feeding your body and mind, nothing is superior to preparing your food from scratch, with quality ingredients and served with love. If you have never experienced this phenomenon then try it out for 90 days and see how you feel.
Come to that, see how your family feels as you work together in the kitchen to create a level of harmony and good health that is only possible when food is prepared in a loving manner, and eaten slowly with others. OK, so no excuses about time and schedules and...and...and. Instead let's take a look at why preparing your food is a win-win situation for everyone.
1. Avoid food poisoning: According to study people are poisoned by food each year. This is caused by food-borne pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and parasites that can seriously harm or even kill you. Forty percent of every money spent on food in a restaurant or prepared foods, which allows for more possibility of consuming cheap foods prepared by inexperienced handlers, posing a greater risk of improper cooking and/or cross contamination of foods. When preparing meals at home you can better control the temperatures when cooking meats, keep hands and countertops clean and properly wash your raw produce.
2. Saves time: In the time it takes to drive to a restaurant, place your order, wait for your order, return home and serve the meal, you could have made a three-course meal from scratch with time to sit and chew slowly. For those on a busy schedule, prepare half the week's meals on a Sunday and the other half mid-week, which can allow time for relaxation or beneficial exercise.
3. Less salt and trans fats: Food producers and restaurant chefs use higher levels of salt and fat to make their products taste better to the consumer. Preparing meals at home allows you to control the amount of salt and oils you use in your recipes. This in turn reduces the possibility of weight gain and clogged arteries.
4. Balanced meals: Taking the time to plan your weekly menu not only helps to save time and money, but also provides a way to create meals with a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat, plus all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for the adult and child's body. When eating balanced meals your body feels satisfied, has fewer cravings and this in turn prevents late-night snacking.
5. Do You Have Special Dietary Needs? Another health benefit of eating at home is that if you have special dietary restrictions such as limitations on sugar in your foods, you can conveniently fix dinners that fit your health needs. No need to fret if the restaurant has a low salt dish or if there is any extra sugar included in a dish.
6. Portion Control: One of the reasons that many people have gained weight is due to the portions that many casual dining restaurants give you. They are much larger than necessary. If you eat in, you can create the appropriate amounts for you and your loved ones, eliminating unnecessary food intake.
7. Food Allergies: When you eat at home, you can be more deliberate in preparing foods, especially if you or a family member has a food allergy. Food allergies in many situations can be serious and possibly even fatal. Preparing food at home reduces the risk of an allergic reaction to allergic food reaction.
8. Quality Time: Another benefit to dining in is the quality of time spent together. We all like to be taken care of at times so it's okay to eat out for special events. However, preparing home-cooked meals allows you to spend valued time with family. Everyone can take part in meal preparation so it's a shared event. By allowing children to participate in meal planning and cooking you are teaching them valuable self-sufficiency skills. The ambiance is more conducive to talking.
Make a pledge to prepare more home-cooked meals. The benefits of eating at home exceed the time it takes to prepare a home-cooked meal. Your loved ones will thank you in the end.