Where did you eat last night? If you are anything like the growing majority of Americans, then you answered, “At home.”
Surprisingly, the number of people who are now choosing to eat at home is increasing. In a recent study conducted by the NPD Group Inc., researchers found that in 2018, 82 percent of all meals were eaten in the home. That is a far cry from the less than 70 percent of “at-home meals,” which middle-class families enjoyed only a decade earlier. In a shock revelation, according to Bloomberg, the number of restaurant visits per person sank to a 28-year low!
Of course, the fact that Americans are eating more meals at home does not necessarily mean that they are cooking more — actually, the opposite is true. Take-out orders are on the rise due to widespread mobile app food delivery services. A study in 2016 found that 1 in 5 people in the US used a food delivery service at least once per week. And for those who do bother to turn on the oven at home, heating a prepared meal from the supermarket is not consided real cooking. Besides the convenience of food delivery and prepackaged food, people are eating alone more than ever before, and who wants to cook just for themselves?
Cooking at home is a hassle, why in the world would anyone want to drag out the knives and the cutting boards, the pans and pots?
What Cooking at Home From Scratch Can Do For You and Your Family
There are several excellent reasons why you should do more cooking at home, and all of them center around your health. But it is not just the health of your body that making more meals at home can help. Cooking from scratch can have a positive impact on your financial health, as well as to help you grow and improve healthy inter-family relationships.
Cooking: Your Way Towards a Better You
Do you want to know one secret why the food you eat in a restaurant tastes better than the food you cook at home? Fat. There is no denying that fat equals flavor, and since most diners judge a restaurant by the flavor of its food and not its nutritional content, restaurant chefs are heavy-handed when it comes to adding butter, oil, and cream to the dishes they serve.
But it doesn’t stop with just more fat showing up in your food. Lots of empty calories from carbohydrates and sugar also appear on restaurant plates and in glasses. Worse still is that people are more likely to overeat in a restaurant setting because of large portion sizes and a reluctance to leave food on their plates.
Save Money By Cooking From Scratch
It isn’t any wonder people want to finish all of their food when they go out — it’s expensive. Americans may not be eating outside the home as many times per week as they did years ago. Still, they are spending a more significant percentage of their food budget on food cooked outside the home than in years past. Americans spend close to half of their total food budget on food prepared away from the house. If the average American family spends $7,729 per year on food, imagine how much they could save by cooking their meals at home more often!
Getting the Most From Your Family Meals Together
Everyone knows that families are eating together less often these days. Only 60 percent of families who have children under the age of 18 eat dinner together six or more times a week. That translates into not only missed opportunities to grow as a family but can lead to children developing poor eating habits as they grow up. So, make time for everyone to sit down and enjoy at least one home-cooked meal as a family at least once a day. But yet, prepare the meal as a family as well.
Involving your kids, especially younger ones in the food preparation process, is a wonderful time to not only teach them how to cook but how to make healthy decisions about what type of food to cook.
Restaurants may be romantic, and there are no dishes to clean, but it can’t beat cooking and sharing food with the ones you love. Cooking is a simple way yet meaningful way to show how much you care about someone.