The Benefits of Home Cooking Are Many

stirring green beans

The benefits of home cooking are many and far reaching. For most of the history of mankind there weren’t many alternatives to home cooking. Most people ate all of their meals at home unless they were off to a war or traveling. Over the past century or so it has become increasingly common for people to eat at restaurants and now families may eat at least one meal away from home daily.

Home cooking isn’t always home cooking anymore. Boxed mixes, frozen dinners, and canned foods have created convenience that many of us have come to depend on. Simple to make foods like mayonnaise, bread, and ice cream have become items that are almost exclusively purchased ready made. Many people don’t even realize that they can be made at home.

These convenience foods come with a cost that is much higher than just the price of the product. High fat, high salt foods are ruining the health of modern man. Questionable ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, food dyes, and chemical additives are compromising health and ruining palates. Most people don’t realize how bland food has become. The flavors of real foods is often too much for modern tastes.

Home cooking, especially when done well, has many more benefits that you might think.

Food Safety

Food borne illnesses aren’t rare at all. In any given week you can usually find at least one article about a recall, a restaurant being shut down, or someone becoming ill from the food they ate. When meals are prepared and eaten at home there is much less of a chance of contamination. While the ground meat may contain eColi the  careful handling of it in the home kitchen makes it less likely to cause a problem.

Quality Time with Family

In a busy world it is sadly difficult to find time to spend with the most important people in your life — your family.  Sitting down to dinner together as often as possible helps to maintain that sense of connection and family. As the nuclear family has become more fractured all kinds of problems plague society. Eating together helps kids learn manners, it helps teens feel like they are part of something, and it gives parents an intimate understanding of what is going on in the lives of their kids.

If you get your kids in it and cooking with you they’ll be more likely to eat a wide variety of foods and enjoy healthy eating habits for their entire lives.

Benefits Budgets

The more convenience foods that you buy the more money you spend. It just makes sense that you will pay more for frozen bean burritos than you will for dried  beans that you cook yourself and some flour tortillas. You’ll save even more if you make your own tortillas.

Better Nutrition

No one is as careful about your family’s food safety and nutrition as you are. Fast food and convenience foods are high in fats, salt, sugar, and preservatives. Cooking at home means that your food is fresher, more nutritious, and your tastes change over time so that you desire the healthier foods.

The Benefits of Home Cooking Are Available to You

So, all of that sounds great but how do you actually do it if you have never done much cooking?

There are hundreds of thousands of websites that have recipes of all kinds for all experience levels. All Recipes has user ratings on each recipe with makes it easy for you to see whether it will work for you. Learn to do basic things and then branch out and experiment with more difficult techniques. Consider taking some cooking classes at a local college or culinary school. You’ll learn a new skill as well as have fun.

You may never love cooking but knowing how to cook nutritious foods that taste good is an important skill to learn. Cookbooks, websites, and classes make it easier than ever to learn these important abilities.

photo credit: ReneS via photopin cc

- Marye Audet

Marye Audet is an author, freelance writer, and editor. Cooking, baking, and recipe development have been a major part of her life since she baked her first loaf of bread at age 13. Luckily, with a husband, eight children, a son in law, and three grandchildren she has enough test-tasters to handle the steady stream of experiments that come from her kitchen.

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