Start Cooking at Home
Stock up on staples. It is much easier to plan meals and decide what to cook if you already have the basics on hand. Stock your pantry with a few necessities that you’re likely to need with most recipes. Olive oil, eggs, low-fat milk, whole grain pasta, rice, frozen chicken, flour, and cheese are all good to start with.
Don’t forget your favorite spices and seasonings– especially the most commonly used ones. These include, cinnamon, garlic, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper, Italian and Cajun seasonings.
Plan ahead. Look at your weekly schedule and find which days you are most available to cook. Remember that much of the prep work can happen beforehand. For example, you can chop vegetables and set out (non-refrigerated) ingredients the night before.
Find good recipes. Spend a few minutes brainstorming easy recipes. Look for foods that are both nutritious to your body and easy to prepare. Many recipes only use one pan or pot, ensuring that cleanup is easier. Consider recipes that are made in a slow cooker. Once you’ve found a few things to make, create a grocery list of foods you’ll need.
Check out the recipes recommended on the HEAL website.
Get everyone involved. Ask family members to pitch in. Cooking has many benefits for younger children and older children. Family members who have less time or interest in cooking can still help with clean up.
Reflect. After a meal has been prepared and eaten, consider what you learned and how you could make things better or easier next time. Would you make the same recipe again? Add more or less seasoning? Would you start earlier or do more prep work in advance? What was your family’s favorite part? Ask kids for suggestions as well.
Congratulate yourself. Chances are good that you saved money, provided your body with nutrients and taught your children invaluable lessons. You may have learned a new skill or recipe, too, which will make your next meal easier and more enjoyable. Good job!