The home-cooked meal has practically vanished. Whether eating out, picking up or pulling some processed, ready-to-eat food out of the fridge, we often choose the quick meal to the nutritious. Even though we know our preference for convenience is detrimental to our health, we still rarely take the time to prepare a healthy dinner at home.
“Part of the problem is people don’t know how to prepare food,” says David Spreadbury, Ph.D., professor emeritus of biochemistry and nutrition. “You can come up with the healthiest diet in the world, but no one will eat it if it doesn’t taste good.”
The other problem is that people think a home-cooked meal takes too much time. Preparing your own dish will always take longer than grabbing something on the go, but a home-cooked meal can be simple, nutritious and delicious.
If you’re lacking the time, skills or both, Spreadbury has three basic tips to help you eat better at home:
- Buy healthy. Stock your pantry with nutritious foods that you can throw together for a quick, healthy meal when you’re in a rush. Having the ingredients on hand eliminates the need to run to the store and the urge to eat out.
- Cook more than you need. It’s just as easy to cook large quantities as small ones. You can refrigerate or freeze the leftovers, saving you time from cooking again later in the week.
- Braise, don’t boil. Boiling is the worst way to prepare vegetables because it strips away all the taste. Braising or roasting veggies is best because it locks in the flavor.
The biggest obstacle in altering your diet is not changing what you eat, but how you eat. There’s nothing more convenient than eating the food prepared in your own kitchen. Make the time to make your own meals!