I read yet another article on the benefits of kids in the kitchen. Hands down, "children are more likely to try a food if they've invested the time and effort into making it," says RDN Kara LeClaire in an article by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. When kids get to help with the decision-making, they're that much more likely to get involved and have fun (this applies to cooking as much as it does to anything else).
Highlighting the importance of kids in the kitchen, helps us grown ups cook more meals at home, too. There has been a downward trend in homemade meals, and while time is a huge limiting factor, it's not the only thing. We've gotten so far away from cooking that we actually don't know how, don't have the tools or we're intimidated (or all of these).
If you're eating in less than you're eating out, try setting a few basic goals. Start to decrease the frequency of eating out, meal prep one more day per week or delegate certain kitchen items to individual household members. Once you've set that goal, ensure you can achieve it. For example, if you're going to eat out less, this means you need the proper supplies at home. Make a go-to shopping list or dedicated themed nights so you know what to shop for.
Overall, cooking is a lifeskill. The camaraderie, health benefits and financial savings that comes along with cooking at home are all bonuses.
1. Martin, Donna. Before it's a lost art: Help Clients and patients learn to cook. JAND. (2017). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2017.08.025.
Registered Dietitian, Austinite, Mom with a 2-yr old, Dog lover