How To Motivate Yourself to Cook More at Home
With many restaurants now reopened, more people are dining out again. For example, a recent survey by Popmenu on US consumers found that 30% of all consumers spend an average of $180 per week on restaurant food, mainly for convenience. On the other hand, some people purchase from fast food restaurants for other reasons: to save money or because they don’t have time to cook.
While fast food saves people time and money, research shows that these outside meals don’t bode well for our health. A study by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found these meals ten to be higher in energy density, fat, and sodium, but low in protective nutrients like dietary fiber and antioxidants. This may increase the risk of chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes, potentially leading to early death.
In comparison, cooking at home opens up the opportunity to cook healthier and sometimes more cost-effective meals. However, some people may be discouraged by the time and effort needed for cooking, especially when a fully cooked meal is just a phone call away. To help you overcome these temptations, below are some strategies to motivate yourself to cook more at home:
Make Food you Enjoy
One common misconception about home cooking is that the food is bland and boring. But meals don’t have to be “healthy” all the time; you can get your motivation going by making food you enjoy. If you’re craving junk food, you can still enjoy its taste at home and make it healthier by swapping out ingredients and cooking methods. For instance, instead of buying salty French fries, you can coat sliced potatoes with olive oil and spices before cooking them in an air fryer— leaving your fries with a satisfying crunch without saturated fat or salt. In addition to being healthier, you can always modify recipes and suit your taste more, making the process more enjoyable.
Take Time-Saving ShortcutsMany people tend to be unmotivated to cook because it takes too much time. If you have a busy schedule, there’s nothing wrong with taking some time-saving shortcuts to cook yourself a meal. We detailed in a previous post some ways you can cut down on your cooking time, such as going semi-homemade, batch cooking, and trying one-pot meals. Not only does this shorten the time spent handling ingredients or attending to cooking itself, but you also save on having to wash multiple dishes and utensils.
Investing in time-savvy tools like an oven or rice cooker is best for the utmost efficiency. The latter device can bulk cook rice, which serves as a good carb base for most dishes but can also cook other food. The Aroma 6-Cup Pot Style can double as a food steamer, allowing you to steam veggies, meat, or fish, simultaneously with rice, producing a meal in one quick cooking cycle. Another great device to have in the kitchen is a food processor, as it allows you to chop vegetables, mince meats, and even puree nuts or salsa quickly. The Cuisinart Custom 14-Cup food processor has a simple interface that makes it easy to use and performs well for a relatively lower price point.
Adjust your Expectations
If you’re not an experienced home cook, adjusting your expectations is essential. It can be tempting to compare your meals to those served in restaurants, but as food writer Ruth Reichl stated, not all food has to be picture-perfect. You also don’t have to immediately pressure yourself with complex recipes or try to cook something new daily. In addition, it helps to have go-to recipes that you love and is easy to make, as it opens up greater flexibility during a week when you may be less motivated to cook.
Make sure to visit our blog Homeschooling Dietitian Mom for more cooking tips and tricks!
Written by Reanne John for homeschoolingdietitianmom.com
Reanne John became a learning advocate after her daughter entered nursery. After discovering helpful educational tips, Reanne decided to pursue a career in blogging to support other parents.
Other posts and products you might enjoy: