You’re busy. I’m busy. We’re all busy. Some days it seems like the act of preparing and enjoying homemade meals belongs to a bygone era, when life moved at a different pace. Now, it’s time to reboot how we think about including healthy homemade meals in our lifestyle. Check out these 7 delicious reasons to cook at home.
Homemade doesn’t need to be a hassle. The key to making it work for you and your family is planning ahead. Before your big weekly grocery trip, take time to decide what you’ll serve that upcoming week. This allows you to create a shopping list loaded with nutritious, clean-eating ingredients, so they’re on hand and ready to go at prep time.
To learn tasty home cooking benefits firsthand, also visit or bookmark these menu planning ideas for your next shopping trip:
1. You slash excess sodium.
More than 75% of the sodium in a typical American diet comes from salt added to processed foods . Sodium is included in everything from canned soups to salad dressings. Since excess amounts lead to an increased risk of hypertension, one of the top home cooking benefits is that you gain more control over the amount of salt you and your family consume.
2. You lighten your added sugar load.
Americans eat an astonishing average of three pounds of refined sugar every week . Sugar is found in many processed foods, including those you might not expect, like mayonnaise, juices, and frozen waffles. Check out 10 Alternatives to Refined Sugar when you need to sweeten your homemade recipes.
3. You are the boss of your food.
One of the top home cooking benefits is that you get to decide exactly how the food tastes. Got kids who don’t like spicy chili? With a healthy homemade recipe, such as Slow Cooker Texas Chili, it’s easy to dial back the flavor kick by reducing spices.
4. You can serve nutritionally balanced recipes.
Cooking at home versus takeout or processed gives you the power to serve a balanced meal, one with the right mix of lean protein, carbs, and fruits/veggies. See these Meal Planning Resources to spark balanced recipe combination ideas.
5. You control portion sizes more easily.
Instead of feasting on unhealthy foods served on giant plates at restaurants, you can measure out and serve homemade portions that won’t bust the gut. Get the skinny with 7 Portion Control Tips.
6. You expose the body to fewer trans fats.
Trans fats, which increase shelf life and improve texture or flavor, are still found in some processed foods. Another of the top home cooking benefits is that you can avoid many of those unhealthy fats, which raise LDL (bad) cholesterol.
7. You build better connections with loved ones.
Preparing homemade meals is often an ideal time to catch up with family members. If your kiddos are old enough, involve them in meal prep by asking them to help wash produce or (with supervision) chop ingredients. Even a preschooler can tear greens for a salad.
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