The Benefits of Home Cooked Meals
Over the past few months Hong Kong has been faced with the outbreak of the coronavirus. An uncertain time for us all but also an important time where we can focus on our health, take some time to breathe, ensure a positive mindset and spend quality time with family.
With the usual busyness of day to day living this means we tend to rush through our day often eating on the go or buying our meals from outside. An easy and convenient but pricey option.
Healthy eating is just one piece of the puzzle that we can focus on when it comes to taking care of our body and focusing on a more ‘holistic’ or whole body approach. Thus improving our quality of life and reducing our risks for chronic diseases.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of eating at home.
1. Fresher ingredients and healthier meals
Eating a variety of foods is important to ensure we get adequate vitamins and mineral from our diet. This includes a good portion of vegetables (about half your plate size), some protein (lean meat, poultry, fish or lentils/beans/chickpeas if vegetarian), some smart carbs (wholegrain sources include brown rice, quinoa, pumpkin, sweet potatoes) and good healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts). Choosing fresh ingredients is the first step, try to go for ‘hormone free’ meats, organic (where possible as I know this can be very difficult and expensive so choose just a few) and from a good, reliable source. When putting the meal together try to think about using minimal salt, choosing good quality cooking oils and having little/or no added sugars. A US study also showed that by eating at least 5 meals per week at home, this significantly lowered the risk for type 2 diabetes.
2. Portion control
Ordering at a restaurant usually means we get served bigger portions, added side dishes and opportunities to upgrade to a set. Of course we can’t say no or waste our money so we tend to finish it all. Cooking at home means we have full control of our portion sizes, awareness of what we are eating plus the added bonus of having ‘leftovers’ for the next day. Clearly a win win.
3. Eating together as a family
Eating dinner as a family means strengthening our bond and relationship. It’s the time of day when all of the family are together, creating a sense of security and bonding time for the children. Research has shown higher academic grades, better communication skills and better mental health.
4. Save money
Eating out can be expensive and can add up if we are doing this regularly. Cooking meals at home has shown to reduce our food expenses by nearly 50%. Including more bang for your buck!
5. Saves time
When we prepare ingredients in advance it can often be faster to cook a meal at home. There are so many different recipes out there that can be made within 30mins, and if you do have a more complex recipe then we can cook in bulk and freeze the rest for another day.
6. It always tastes better
Food cooked at home and eaten together always taste better. There’s something very satisfying about cooking for yourself and knowing that you are putting goodness into the body.
7. Avoids foods sensitivities and allergies
Preparing our food at home can be useful especially if one of your family members has a food allergy or sensitivity. This means we are in complete control over the ingredients and can avoid any allergic reaction or flare ups.
Some key tips include:
Plan out your weekly meals so you know what ingredients you need
Make a shopping list and stick to it
Try to cook extra food for the next day lunch leftovers or freeze for another night
Check out Southstream’s ‘fresh produce’ and ‘deli’ section this week including some fresh organic fruits & veggies, fresh cheeses and tasty cold cuts. A great range of ingredients if you are hosting a dinner party (antipasto platters) or wanting some inspiration for family meals, delivered straight to your door!
Want to find out more or ask a question? Click Here to get in touch with Chrissy.