Cooking at home is healthier and cheaper than going to restaurants, ordering takeout, or buying frozen dinners (though all of those choices can be delicious).
But it often feels so hard.
Especially if you work a lot and only have yourself to cook for.
Why does home cooking matter?
Research shows that regularly eating home-cooked meals as a family is linked to healthier and happier kids and teenagers, who are less likely to use alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes.
Adults also reap considerable benefits from eating home-cooked meals.
Research underlines that people who eat home-cooked meals on a regular basis tend to be happier and healthier, and consume less sugar and processed foods, which can result in higher energy levels and better mental health.
Eating home-cooked meals five or more days a week is even associated with longer life.
Below we share five tips on how you can teach yourself to cook more at home this year.
Commit yourself to do it regularly
This is the first big step. Make a commitment to prepare all of your dinners at home for one week, then see if you can actually do it.
Simply getting yourself in the kitchen with a positive “I can do this” mindset, is 80% of the work.
Keep It simple
Because you’re sticking with basic recipes, you can keep your cooking equipment simple, too.
When you first start learning to cook at home, all you need is the bare minimum of cooking supplies.
Spare yourself from purchasing a bunch of fancy kitchen gadgets and focus on mastering the cooking tools you already have instead.
Create themed food days
If you have to cook every day, one major struggle is figuring out what to make for dinner. While you do want some variety in your menu, consider creating themed days like pizza Friday, pasta Tuesday, or full-meal Thursday.
This way, you have a narrower range of choices on a particular day. You can, of course, still change things even within your categories.
Read recipe books and watch YouTube videos to help you familiarise.
We have so many resources at our fingertips these days (many of which are free!), so we should take every opportunity to brush up on our cooking theory in addition to applying it in the kitchen.
There are so many cooking channels available on YouTube that not only show how to make specific recipes but also go over cooking techniques - a quick search can pretty much let you find anything you need.
Nothing makes time in the kitchen fly by more than having the company (and extra hands) of friends and family.
One of the best ways to get kids interested in healthy eating is to involve them in the cooking process, so give little ones easy tasks like mixing things together or mashing potatoes.