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Lifestyles

March 22, 2014

Home cooking

Bring kids into the kitchen

We are surrounded by a glut of tempting foods. It can be found in grocery stores, convenience stores, even the local gas station. However, if we are not paying attention, we can plunge into the trap of highly processed food, and health problems.

Readily available processed and packaged foods make it doubly easy to purchase and eat. We can eat while we’re driving, dressing or watching television. There’s nothing to it, except studies show that this easy access has added to the obesity problem in America.

A 2011 U.S. Department of Agriculture study, “How Much Time Do Americans Spend on Eating,” showed people can spend 78 minutes a day on secondary eating — eating while doing a primary action such as surfing the net. Although the multitasking appears efficient, mindless eating is not beneficial and has a tendency to take us out of the kitchen.

What are we teaching our children about food and cooking? 

The definition of “home cooking” has morphed into something unrecognizable to a person 100 years ago. Chicken pot pie meant boiling a chicken, deboning it, harvesting vegetables from the garden and making from scratch a chicken pot pie. Now, it means baking a frozen pre-made chicken pot pie at home, or nuking it in the microwave.

But a revolution is pulling children back into the loop of mindful eating. Putting impatience on the back burner, we discover that cooking at home leaves us with a greater appreciation and sense of satisfaction.

We get to plan, and anticipate enjoying the food we eat. We learn that families who cook together unearth time for conversation and teamwork. We see that paying attention to our food allows us to know what we are eating and where the food comes from.

Another reason? Cooking at home can accommodate the luxury of having the equipment we need.

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