There are a lot of sayings about our homes:

  • “Home is where the heart is.”
  • “Home is where you hang your hat.”
  • “Home sweet home.”
  • “Home is my happy place.”

All of these sentiments are good, but my favorite motto about home is, “Health is homemade!”

I grew up as an average, middle class, military kid in the ’70s & ’80s. Back in that day going out to eat with the family was a rare treat; so rare in fact that I dared not risk the next possible dinner outing by asking my Dad if I could order a pop to go with my meal.

Experiencing so few meals out made me think that my Dad was just cheap, but the truth is, eating at home keeps us healthy.

Physical Benefits

Julia A. Wolfson, lead author of a study at John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future found that “when people cook at home, they consume fewer carbohydrates, less sugar, and less fat than those who cook less or not at all–even if they’re not trying to lose weight”.

There is no doubt that many physical and mental health ailments can be tied to poor nutrition. Likewise, there is no doubt that seeing a doctor for these aliments is quite costly. One simple step many of us can take to improve our health is as easy as eating at home.

Emotional Benefits

When we eat at home we are oftentimes surrounded by family and friends. These interactions are meaningful and provide joy. When family and friends join in to help saute and set the table the exchange is even richer.

Using food from our own pantry, refrigerator and possibly home garden typically means our food less packaged, and less processed.

Meals at home regularly become more about spending quality time together and collectively creating something delicious. The impact of this time at home, together in the kitchen preparing and eating nutritious homemade meals will certainly be appreciated by your health and pocketbook.

Put It Into Practice

If your busy family has gotten in the habit of eating on the run, start taking back your health by replacing just one meal a week with something homemade.

Here’s an idea for your next meal:

  • Pick an evening that is the least crazy in your household
  • Pick a meal that isn’t too labor-intensive
  • Use whatever is already thawed in the refrigerator
  • Assign every family member a part of the prep and clean up

Then talk, laugh, and sing together making the meal a special time that everyone will look forward to the next week.

Meet you in the kitchen,