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Cook More Often at Home
Over the last few decades, Americans have been eating out more and cooking at home less often. When you cook at home, you can often make better choices about what and how much you eat and drink than you do when eating out. Cooking can also be a fun activity and a way for you to spend time with family and friends.
When cooking remember to focus on foods you need, eat fewer empty calories, and decrease portion sizes. Many recipes include calorie content per serving. Compare calorie content and choose meals that fit within your daily calorie needs. If cooking for a family, you may each have different calorie needs. You can still cook the same nutritious foods, but vary the portion sizes. For example, an active adolescent male can still eat the same foods as his five-year-old sister, he will just eat more.
Get started cooking more often at home:
Concerned about cooking more often at home? Here are some common "stumbling blocks" and ideas to help you overcome these barriers:
"I'm tired of being the only one that cooks."
Make cooking a family event. Get your children involved with the prep work. This will help to teach them about healthy eating, and it also serves as a way for you to spend time with your children. Have an occasional potluck. Invite friends over and have everyone bring their favorite healthy dish.
"I don't have time to cook a big meal every night; it is easier to just order out."
Cooking does take time, but there are several things that you can do to make it easier to cook at home. Try prepping dishes the night before, or the morning of; prepping the salad or the side dish can help save time after work. Also try cooking a big meal on Sunday and then eating it as leftovers and freezing extras. Buying frozen or canned fruits and vegetables can also save prep time.
"My family prefers to eat out; when I cook at home, they complain."
Changing a family pattern is difficult at first. Start by eating one more meal at home each week than you normally do. You may save calories and money! To mix things up, try a new recipe. It'll help keep your family excited about dinner at home.