There is no question that heavily processed foods are killing us. The food experts insist that unless the American Family embraces cooking, and starts preparing more meals at home, we will continue getting sicker as a nation. It is vital that each family find a way to get into the kitchen and cook. Our lives are busy, our schedules are crazy, but I absolutely guarantee that there is no better thing that anyone can do for their family in this coming new year than to start preparing more meals at home.
Hear are some ideas to help get you started:
1. Invest some dollars in kitchen tools. I am not a fan of gadgets, but paying for quality kitchen basics is money very well spent. Additionally, the more meals prepared at home, the more money saved in the long run. Investing in functional kitchenware is one of the best investments that a household can make.
2. Watch the food shows. If you watch T.V. - cooking shows are probably the best quality television that you can still get at this point. Netflix also has a wide variety of cooking shows available, including Good Eats, which is our absolute favorite. For anyone who has not yet learned to cook, cooking shows are an excellent educational resource.
3. Get the kids involved. My children can all do a variety of different tasks in the kitchen, and they really enjoy helping. When everyone is working together, and the children are helping to complete tasks, no matter how small, the cooking gets done more quickly and everyone can get to eating. Plus, the kids are learning to cook!
4. Try something new every week. This can make cooking exciting, because new foods can require learning different techniques to cook. Pinterest can be a great resource for new recipe ideas.
5. Just add music. The cooking and cleaning can go much faster in the kitchen if everyone is singing along to a catchy tune while they work. Heck, it’s even good exercise, and probably appetite building too.
6. Pick up tips at the grocery store. We are lucky enough to have Publix grocery stores where we live and they often have a cook in the store teaching the guests how to prepare a new dish weekly. This is a fantastic service to take advantage of, and it is available at many different stores. Alternatively, simply ask the butcher at the meat counter how to prepare the meat that you are considering purchasing, and they will usually offer up step-by-step instructions.
7. Invite guests to dinner. It is best to do this at least once a week. I even try to do it, and I am pretty damn comfortable in the kitchen. Guests will always offer up advice on the meal, especially if they know that you are new to cooking. In addition, by inviting guests over to dinner, invitations to dinner will naturally follow, and going to a friend’s house for dinner is a great way to pick up new recipe ideas.
8. Read labels. The more labels that you read at the grocery store, the more inspiration you will find to prepare processed foods from scratch at home. In addition to dangerous additives that the FDA does not do an adequate job in regulating, processed foods are absolutely bursting with refined sugars and salt, that is how they keep us coming back for more.
9. Pay attention to the changes in your family. If you have children, I can almost guarantee that you will notice a change in their behavior after cooking meals at home for even one week straight. Home cooked meals are so nutritionally superior to processed and fast foods that the healthfulness of the meals will quickly reflect in the behavior of children. After one week of feeding my foster son meals made from scratch, his behavior was so drastically improved that the other mothers were asking me if I had gotten him on medication for his ADD.
10. Give it two weeks. Experts have determined that it only takes about two weeks to establish a habit. If you can keep to the plan to make home cooked meals for just two little weeks, you will find that the practice becomes much easier to keep up with, and I cannot stress how immensely your family will benefit from establishing this vitally healthy habit. The best of luck to you from the bottom of my heart!