Easy, Simple, and Home-Cooked

Home-cooked meals don’t have to be time-consuming or difficult.

Many people mistakenly believe home-cooked meals take all day to prepare, are more expensive than eating out, and are hard to make. What these people are missing out on could change their lives for the better.

Numerous studies have shown the health and family-life benefits of eating meals together at home.

Wonder why you’re overweight, have high blood pressure, or are on the verge of diabetes? The majority of restaurant food is high in calories, fat, sodium, and sugar and is served in near double-portion sizes. Cooking your own meals is the best way to ensure you and your family stay healthy and fit. In fact, the more home-cooked meals you eat, the less you’re likely to weigh.

Home-cooked meals aren’t just good for your waistline. They’re good for the health of your family! Sitting around the dinner table each evening provides a time to slow down, communicate, and share life.

Here are a few tips to make home-cooked meals the simple way.

Get Started

Don’t know how to cook? Never turned on a stove or used a cutting board? You’ll need a few kitchen essentials like pots, pans, spatulas, and spoons. Be confident that if you can read and follow directions, you can cook. Purchase a step-by-step cookbook or look up how-to instructions online. Simply put on your apron and get busy learning how to prepare simple meals. Before you know it, you’ll be tackling some of the most complicated recipes out there.

Make a Menu

One time a week, sit down and create a menu of seven meal options. Monday may be pasta, Tuesday tacos, and so on. Have trouble thinking of what meals to prepare and get tired of the same old thing? Keep a list inside your cabinet door of meal ideas to refer to, search the Internet for simple home-cooked meal recipes with less than five ingredients, and look through cookbooks for easy options, ask your friends or family for their simple, go-to meals.

Grocery Shop

Dread the thought of grocery shopping? With careful planning you only need to shop once a week—or even less. Inspect your cupboards and refrigerator for what you have on hand and write down a grocery list for what you still need for the week. A list will make your shopping trips more efficient. Stock up on foods your family eats often and foods on sale, but stick to your grocery list as much as possible so you don’t end up buying unnecessary food or a bunch of junk.

Enlist Help

Many hands make light work. This goes for meal preparation as well. When you’re tired after a busy day, rather than picking up fast food work together as a family to make dinner. (Parents of young children may find it’s much easier to cook alone but older children and teens can often be a big help in the kitchen).

Minimize Messes

A dirty kitchen is a negative when it comes to cooking your own meals. The pots, pans, plates, and cups pile up quickly in the sink and if you don’t stay on top of it, they can begin to take over the house. But all it takes is a few minutes after a meal to tackle the mess if each family member is assigned a cleanup responsibility (clearing the table, loading the dishwasher, wiping down the counters and table, and putting leftovers in the refrigerator) so mom or dad doesn’t do all the work. Can’t handle a messy kitchen? Grill outside and use disposable dishes.