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One of the Best New Year’s Resolutions for Your Health

By on December 26, 2013

One of the most profound ways to start improving personal and family health is in the kitchen utilizing the most powerful tool for better health – the spatula. Not only does a home-cooked meal taste better than something out of a box, it contains far more variety, fresher more nutrient rich ingredients and will have less fat, salt and preservatives. Eating out on a regular basis also contributes to poor nutrition and a wider waist-line. Here’s why. Restaurant meals contain larger portions which we often feel obliged to eat, tend to have more salt and sugar and offer fewer fruits and vegetables.

Reclaim the Family Dinner, Strengthen Family Ties
When you can, savour this lost ritual. The family dinner is a time to nourish, laugh and communicate. No cell phones required. Children who eat home-cooked meals are less likely to be overweight and have been shown to be happier in general as well. A survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found teens whose families ate together frequently were less likely to use alcohol, drugs and cigarettes and had better grades.

Saving Time and Money in the Kitchen                   
Time is of the essence, especially with busy schedules. It may seem easier to call for a pizza than whip something up, but if it’s the second time this week, hold the phone. Here are some time-saving ideas to get you started. Choose quick and easy meals to make that everyone loves and can help make together like a vegetarian chilli or cobb salad. Save time with a slow cooker. Prep stews, soups or even chicken fajitas the night before or first thing in the morning. Grills are great for healthy sandwiches in a snap. Plan ahead, start defrosting tomorrow’s meat the night before in the refrigerator or prep beans and grains (soaking, cooking) ahead of time. When trying to include as many colors and textures in your meals as possible frozen vegetables can come to the rescue. They add variety when cooking time is limited and are high in nutrients. Gently steaming or simply rinsing them with boiled water helps maintain their full nutritional value and flavour. Try making big batches of family favourites and freezing portions for future use. Or, cook two main meals at a time on Sunday and save one for the following night.

Mentally Moving from Chore to Galore
Cooking is a creative art. Share it with your partner, a friend, your mom, grandparent, a neighbour or family. With a little patience and practice small hands can get cracking, cheese grating and spicing too. Planning and inspiration are key to a wealth of health and flavour. Make this year’s healthy resolution, one to cook at home more often!

Share your best healthy cooking tips in the comments for the chance to win 1 of 3 DREAMFARM® Mini Supoons and award-winning cookbooks this January. Happy New Year!

Get started with 7 Best Meals on A Budget.

Charleen Wyman is a throw it all in the pan cook with a vengeance to make left-overs, fabulous planned new meals.

About Charleen Wyman

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