Learning how to cook gives you the skills to play with flavors, take care of your health and get pleasure from your food!

Today, the kitchen is becoming more and more a centerpiece of the house, a space where social life, well-being, and relaxation go hand in hand with the pleasure of food and cooking.

We all know that cooking is key to aging in good health. Want to learn how to cook well? Want to learn how to cook without oil, sugar, or salt? Want to make healthier food choices?

Cooking is a fundamental skill that needs to be practiced and perfected every day, and Superprof has even more good reasons for you to get cooking and start living well daily.

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Benefits of Healthy Eating for Children

Cooking goes hand in hand with good healtha healthy diet maintains good physical and mental health, especially in children. It is during early childhood that food habits and education are built and that tastes are made.

Therefore, families and schools play a crucial role in feeding children, as this is where they learn their food habits. Teaching them to eat healthily early on will serve them well in the future.

The benefits of feeding your children healthy food
Teach your children good eating habits early on (Source: Pexels)

In her book 'Small Feet in Large Dishes,' published in 2014, Pauline de Vogel pleads for a food education based on the pleasure of cooking:

"Too often, the child confuses 'I love' with 'I know' and suddenly 'I do not know' becomes 'I do not like.' Letting the child make their own choices, in terms of food, in a game-like way, can expand and diversify their taste buds."

Taking cooking lessons or playing chef at home by making your own meals with an actual culinary workshop will let you take charge of your children's health, teach you more about nutrition, and will help their:

  • Growth
  • Immune system
  • Future aging processes (cognitive dispositions, maintenance of muscle mass, fight against diseases)

Nutritional studies conducted by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research prove the benefits of a good diet on health:

According to the National Health Nutrition Program, many nutritious foods can prevent the risk of developing common diseases (cardiovascular diseases, cancer, obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, intestinal infections). Following these simple rules can have a significant effect and leave you feeling healthier:

  • Eat five fruits and vegetables a day (a tomato, a handful of green beans, a bowl of soup, an apple, two apricots, four or five strawberries)
  • Have three dairy products a day
  • Have a carbohydrate at every meal (pasta, rice, wheat, barley, oats, rye, legumes such as lentils, peas, beans, cereals)
  • Eat fish, meat, or eggs once or twice a day
  • Limit fat and products high in sugar or salt
  • Drink plenty of water and do a lot of physical activity (one hour a day for children)

You'll know when your child's culinary training is working when they choose to avoid fast food all by themselves!

Knowing how to cook isn't just fundamental for physical health; it can also help create and maintain social relations. "How?" I hear you ask.

Take a cooking class near me here.

The Social Side of Eating and Cooking

Learning to cook and becoming a Chef at home is good for those around you and yourself.

Share your passion of cooking with your friends
Bring your family and friends together over a great meal (Source: Pexels)

Using the kitchen as a personal development tool

You're not a Michelin star chef, but as a budding cook, maybe you'll amaze yourself with your hidden talents and your ability to turn a shopping bag into a tasty dish!

Often, we are too hard on ourselves in the kitchen and criticize everything we make.

We find our dish too bland, too dry, underdone, overdone. This criticism reflects a lack of self-confidence.

So, here are some tips to get comfortable and take charge in your kitchen:

  • Don't put pressure on yourself: that's for the pressure cooker!
  • Aim for simple, fast, and easy recipes that are flavorful
  • Taste, test, innovate and unravel are THE words that will increase your confidence in cooking
  • Perfect your knife skills so you can play at being a real chef!
  • Ditch the microwave and experiment with different cooking methods like steaming, baking, searing, grilling, or frying
  • Learn from your mistakes, and it will make the next dish even better
  • Learn the properties of each ingredient so you can play around with different combinations

The more dishes you make, the more you will progress and build up your confidence in the kitchen.

The Kitchen Is A Social Space

As well as saving you money and giving you a chance to get your hands dirty, cooking is also a way to relax and share moments with friends and family.

Organizing an evening with friends at home and want to make them a nice dish?

Cooking meat, fish and vegetables, emits a lovely smell through the house, which is sure to get your guests' mouths watering. Try doing a roasted chicken dish with delicious carrots and cauliflower covered in chopped herbs with some crispy roasted potatoes, perfect! The smell will be so inviting (and the leftovers will make for the ideal lunchbox the next day!)

Bring your friends and family together over a full table of dishes set to the tune of some warm background music. Work as a team; someone can help you in the kitchen while someone else sets the table, cuts the bread, or prepares an aperitif.

Such a nice moment creates a lovely atmosphere for friends and family chatting over some great food. Cooking like a chef isn't just cooking; it lets you share your love through food and spend a great time with friends and family.

Cooking Merges Food and Culture

Whether you are Asian, African, American, or European, each society has its own language, culture, and of course, its own culinary traditions.

The cuisine of the world is exotic and attractive for anyone who wants to advance their cooking skills. Learning another country's cuisine - Japanese cuisine, Italian cuisine, Vietnamese cuisine, or Maghreb cuisine – lets you travel worldwide through food!

Get access to online cooking classes for free.

Travel through cooking!
Explore different cultures through food (Source: Pexels)

With the world becoming ever more multicultural, there is a culinary blend between one's own cultural cuisine and new foreign specialties, connecting these fresh foods to our own roots.

Learning about different cuisines can teach us a lot about the history and gastronomy of other countries and even about the history of our own diets:

Did you know, for example:

  • That beans came from the Andes and Central America?
  • That the potato was cultivated 8000 years ago in the Andes in South America, then developed by the Incas of Peru, then imported to Europe to ease the famines of the 17th century?
  • That rice was already cultivated in Neolithic China nearly 10,000 years ago?
  • That noodles are 4000 years old, imported from China to Italy by Marco Polo in the 13th century?

Learning to cook and opening a cookbook is about much more than a healthy diet; it is a multicultural journey through history.

Become More Eco-Responsible Through Cooking

We all know that cooking can allow you to relax on an evening after a long day at work and even get your creative juices flowing by creating different dishes and desserts. Still, it's even better when your gourmet creations are made with respect for nature.

Picking out quality ingredients at the market
Buying fresh, organic fruit and vegetables is essential for a healthy diet (Source: Pexels)

Make your commitment to the planet show on your plate!

We now see more and more warnings to commit to look after the planet, consume responsibly, shop locally and organically, and only eat what's in season.

Not to mention all of the information available to us on starting our vegetable patch, cooking vegetarian food, or doing our own food composting at home.

Learning how to cook now also means advocating for the preservation of the environment.

Because if products are harmful to our bodies, why would they not be bad for the ecosystem? We have no excuse!

Here are some positive actions that you can take at home:

  • Install a hive in your garden (if you live in a rural habitat) to attract bees
  • Like organic honey? Grow honey plants (poppy, gorse, borage, laurel, strawberry tree, almond tree, etc.) to attract bees and other pollinators to fight against their extinction – a real danger that would be dramatic for human life.
  • Create a vegetable patch in your garden: no need to buy tomatoes, make your salad at home, and learn the basics of agroecology.
  • Make your own compost: recycle your food waste to feed your land
  • Consume local products to avoid transport-related pollution
  • Eat according to the seasons: a healthy diet also passes through the seasons, no more tomatoes in December!
  • Buy organic products (loose, without packaging) according to your needs and without excess to reduce waste

By cooking from scratch, you'll often find you save money.

And if you needed any more convincing, here's another way in which learning to cook can improve your life:

The best Cooking tutors available
Yogini
4.9
4.9 (14 reviews)
Yogini
$35
/h
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1st lesson free!
Anna
5
5 (4 reviews)
Anna
$29
/h
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1st lesson free!
Ida mangohamster
5
5 (5 reviews)
Ida mangohamster
$80
/h
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1st lesson free!
Lena
4.9
4.9 (9 reviews)
Lena
$25
/h
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1st lesson free!
Deborah
5
5 (4 reviews)
Deborah
$80
/h
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1st lesson free!
Lauren
5
5 (5 reviews)
Lauren
$12
/h
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1st lesson free!
Mark
Mark
$50
/h
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1st lesson free!
Carolina
5
5 (5 reviews)
Carolina
$15
/h
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1st lesson free!
Yogini
4.9
4.9 (14 reviews)
Yogini
$35
/h
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1st lesson free!
Anna
5
5 (4 reviews)
Anna
$29
/h
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1st lesson free!
Ida mangohamster
5
5 (5 reviews)
Ida mangohamster
$80
/h
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1st lesson free!
Lena
4.9
4.9 (9 reviews)
Lena
$25
/h
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1st lesson free!
Deborah
5
5 (4 reviews)
Deborah
$80
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Lauren
5
5 (5 reviews)
Lauren
$12
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Mark
Mark
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Carolina
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Cooking Will Stimulate Your Creativity And Increase Your Cognitive Development.

Through inspiration, intuition, and imagination, you will tweak your recipes make your menus.
This exercise stimulates your cognitive development because you are entirely concentrated on the ingredients without being disturbed by external distractions (entertainment, stress). Using different cooking methods and techniques will keep you constantly learning. For example, you can learn to make a recipe for a new dish or design different dishes.

Thanks to your self-taught home cookery classes, you now know how to make tasty dishes for your family that will suit even a picky eater.

Preparation is key

Make a list before you go to the supermarket, substitute unhealthy oils for Organic coconut oil, or cut calories by stocking up on veggies and foods that pack in nutritious value. Do your research, see which spices you can use to add flavor, try different grains, swap out animal fats for nuts or vegan alternatives; the possibilities are endless!

What's next? You've mastered the cooking; now let's try to master those skills to impress your loved one!

Discovering The Benefits Of Cooking At Home

We go out to diners, order take-out, gorge on wings at sports events, or snack on popcorn in the movies. Social eating has become the norm these days, and it can be hard to consider replacing it with a home-cooked meal

The prospect of cooking your meals yourself seems like a chore, especially when you can order cheap and tasty alternatives with the click of a few buttons, but there are many benefits of cooking at home.

With the fitness trend sweeping the nation, cooking at home has become trendy because people are becoming more conscious of their health and nutrition.

It is no secret that you will consume fewer calories if you cook at home and drastically reduce your fat and carb intake as a result.

But besides that, preparing your meals at home can also be quite therapeutic while offering certain social benefits. Let's have a look at some of the benefits of cooking at home vs. eating out:

Cooking At Home Vs. Eating Out

Cooking at home allows you to control how much sugar, salt, carbs, and seasoning goes into your food, giving you more say over what goes into your body.

You also don't have to wonder about the cleanliness of the utensils and the kitchen equipment at home. The liberty to choose your portion size also rests with you when you cook at home.

The amount of control you get over your food is unfortunately backdropped by the amount of work that goes into preparation and storage.

Compared to this, eating at restaurants is hassle-free. You do not need to worry about procuring ingredients, looking after food prep, or cleaning up.

Also, you get to enjoy a pleasant ambiance and a break from the routine of your everyday life while eating out.

With the rising popularity of healthy food, more and more people opt to cook at home and skip the high-sodium and calorie-laden dishes of indulgent restaurants.

Plus, cooking at home makes for a relaxing activity to do at home with a loved one. Perhaps the best part is that you don't have to deal with the stress of bracing traffic or long wait hours at restaurants.

Benefits Of Cooking At Home

If you already cook at home, you would know the many physical and mental benefits of preparing your food yourself.

However, if you tend to eat out regularly, you might want to look into some of the benefits of home cooking:

You Get To Save Money

Eating out every day can burn a hole through your pocket. Even a basic restaurant meal can cost you ten dollars.

Multiply that amount by five or seven days for four weeks, and you're already losing a significant chunk of your earnings to restaurant bills, and that too on food that can be easily replicated at home.

While a restaurant takeaway now and then doesn't hurt, eating out every day can drain your finances.

In contrast,  cooking at home saves the money you spend on high-calorie food and gets you nutritious food for much lower costs.

You Save Time

You don't spend half as much eating your food at a restaurant as you do when:

  • Driving to the establishment
  • Finding a parking space
  • Ordering a meal
  • Waiting for it to arrive
  • Waiting for the paycheck

This whole routine can easily take two hours, roughly the same time it would take you to prepare a meal for yourself at home.

You Get To Spend Time With Family

Families rarely get a chance to sit together and enjoy lunch/dinner in today's fast-paced life. Instead, most people prefer to eat in their room or grab a meal on the way.

But what if you're looking for some family bonding? Simple things like cooking at home when your family is around, laying the table, or cleaning up after dinner can help bring family members closer.

Preparing meals at home is also a great way to introduce children to cooking, teaching them valuable life skills.

They can learn to be self-sufficient, improve their self-confidence, and learn the benefits of eating healthy.

This entire practice will prepare them to look after their own needs and be less dependent on you by cooking with them.

A man and a woman cooking together
Cooking at home is a great social activity. One of the benefits of cooking at home includes spending more time with your family. It can be just the break you need from the stressors of life (Source: Pixabay)

You Get To Eat Nutritional Meals

Cooking at home allows you to control what goes into your food and select healthier ingredients. For example, instead of mass-produced components that eating establishments use, you can opt for organic, locally produced meat and vegetables.

While there are healthier options to eat out, they're often highly-priced and hard to locate. When preparing food at home, you can add more fiber and vitamin-rich produce to your dishes and cut out the high fat and carbohydrate content you find in restaurant dishes.

It may also be beneficial to set up a food plan and shop for ingredients accordingly. Start by planning a recipe list for healthier items you can use in place of everyday food products.

The benefits of healthy eating are far too significant to ignore.

You Get To Lower Your Calorie Intake

If you are looking to control your calorie intake or keep your weight under check, cooking at home can be a lifesaver for you.

Restaurant meals use mass-produced ingredients in their dishes, such as high-fructose corn syrup and GMO produce, which are relatively high in calories while being low on nutrition.

When cooking at home, you can prepare the same meal while using low-calorie alternatives and less oil, butter, and sugar than a typical restaurant meal.

When you order food at a restaurant, you do so based on how good it looks and sounds on the menu while looking around at other peoples' plates. In short, health rarely influences your decision at a restaurant since eating out is a social activity.

In contrast, when you eat a meal that you cooked yourself, you're far more likely to consider the dish's nutritional value and health benefits.

A salad plate, two spoons, and a table mat on a wooden table
Cooking at home allows you to reap the benefits of healthy eating, such as choosing nutritious, low-calorie ingredients and controlling the amount of oil, salt, and sugar that goes into your food (Source: Pixabay)

You Learn How To Appreciate Food

When eating out, you don't get to see how the food is prepared or what goes in it. On the other hand, when preparing meals at home, you're more conscious of the whole cooking process and hence more appreciative of the effort it takes to cook food.

When you have to buy the ingredients yourself, plan your meals, and cook yourself, you're much less likely to take food for granted and be more aware of portion sizes, calories, their price, and nutritional value.

It also makes you a more aware and responsible part of society as you are also much less likely to waste food.

You're Less Likely To Suffer From Food-Related Illnesses

When you're eating a meal made in an unfamiliar kitchen, you never know what goes inside it because you're not there to see it!

While all restaurants are required to comply with the standards set by food authorities, there's still a possibility of catching foodborne pathogens like salmonella and listeria from packaged meals and food cooked in restaurant kitchens.

While you can never be too sure whether restaurants follow up with the cleanliness standards, you have complete control over what goes in your food and how it is stored when you cook on your own.

You can also be more careful about avoiding certain ingredients, such as gluten or starch, which may not be suitable for your body in the long run.

Some of the foods commonly linked to food poisoning cases include:

  • Unpasteurized milk and dairy products
  • Raw eggs
  • Raw poultry, meat, and seafood
  • Foods containing animal products, such as cartilage, which could have possibly been exposed to contamination during processing
  • Raw fruits and vegetables
  • Uncooked meat and vegetables

Eating Wisely in Restaurants

If you've sworn off fast food to reduce weight but still eat gourmet food at restaurants, you actually might be doing yourself a disservice.

Restaurants are known for serving significant portions, with side servings full of carbs – messing up your daily calorie count.

However, not all of us are capable of cooking, and sometimes we all like to indulge ourselves in a restaurant meal.

That doesn't mean that you have to compromise on your diet. Keep in mind that you can eat healthy while still eating out.

Whenever you do eat out, try to choose healthier options, such as a salad in place of an appetizer. If you're feeling extra indulgent and want a carb-heavy meal, opt for baked options instead of fried ones, such as baked potatoes in place of French fries.

Furthermore, when choosing between fried and baked or roasted main dishes, choose the latter options. Try to opt for multi-grain fiber heavy bread options or an appetizer in place of an entrée.

If you're in the mood for dessert, opt for low-calorie options like fruit or sherbet instead of a cake and switch the soda with water. All these alternatives will fill you up without messing up your calorie count.

Learn how To Cook With An Expert Chef

These are some of the top benefits of healthy eating, and we hope our readers will be more inclined towards taking a more conscientious approach to their food choices and culinary habits.

And if you're interested in cooking and want to excel at culinary art, consider joining a cooking class.

Connect with a cooking coach near you by signing up with Superprof and get started with your Masterclass today!

Vegetables, noodles, and herbs laid on a wooden table
Mediterranean diets allow you to reap the benefits of eating healthy without compromising on taste. Hence, it would help to incorporate French and Italian dishes into your home-cooking routine (Source: Pixabay)
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Jess