home cooked meals

Why Cook Homemade Meals?

Just recently my mother told me about a report she saw on TV that food cooked from scratch isn’t any better than processed food. In fact, you would have to eat tons and tons of processed food for it to cause any harm to your body, she said. Really? Isn’t that what most Americans are doing? And who funded this study anyway? I checked. A well-known BIG food and beverage company funded it. Always look at who is making claims you see on TV and the internet.

Finding the Time

I had a recent discussion with a fellow homeschool mom asking me how I find the time or the energy to cook things from scratch and make home-cooked meals every day. I too am on the roller coaster of homeschooling, kid’s activities, church activities, household chores, and running my own business. I do not have “supermom” powers. It’s really all about priorities. It isn’t just the know-how and organization skills that make me do it, however, that helps tremendously. It is because of the “WHY”.

I will not eat or feed my family processed food.

I really believe that processed food truly hurts our bodies and our health. I will go so far as to consider it poison to our bodies. I have learned and studied enough for a long time to truly have an understanding of what processed food, gluten, dairy, and GMO’s do to our bodies. They make us sick. So many of us don’t see the slow-death it causes until we are diagnosed with some disease. Because I know what is in these foods, I can not feed them to my family.

Benefits of scratch cooking

  1. Saves Time – It may seem like grabbing something at a fast food restaurant saves time. In reality, by the time it takes you to order and drive to pick it up, you could have cooked a homemade meal, especially if you plan ahead. There are so many meals that can be made in less than 30 minutes. Try batch cooking or doubling a recipe and freezing it for a ready meal on those busy days.
  2. Saves Money – Homemade foods are usually cheaper than eating at a restaurant or buying processed foods. Making a grocery list and sticking to it helps us avoid buying extra food which may have to get thrown out if it is never used. If you make a plan, it takes the stress out of deciding, “What’s for dinner?”
  3.  Healthier ingredients – Processed foods contain very high amounts of salt, sugar, and fat. When you cook at home, you know exactly what is going into your food. Keep it simple.
  4.  Portion Control – Portions in restaurants are always larger than what you need. Supersize anyone? Often you will eat all that is in front of you. At home, you can control your own portions.
  5. Eating Together as a Family – I strive for this every day as I know eating together is healthier for all of us. We sit at a table and eat food with a fork and a knife. Everyone can talk about their day and connect as a family. Our fast-paced lives have made eating something we have to squeeze into our day while we are sitting in a car. Share at least one meal a day with your family. Bring your kids into the kitchen and teach them how to cook too.

My strong opinions on what is healthy are what drives me to take the time to cook meals in advance, make everything from scratch, and never buy processed or fast food. I have made it a priority. They have to eat, so what am I going to feed them? I have learned to batch cook. I use meal planning and vegetable prep. Here is my article on Meal Prep Tips and Tricks to help you. Let’s all get back into our kitchens and find the satisfaction we get from homecooked meals.

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Erin Sands is a Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert whose focus is on using food and nutrition to build health and reverse disease.

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