Nothing quite like a homemade meal

Lisa Goudy
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This past week I’ve been enjoying some homemade chicken tortilla soup.

Thanks to my loving mother, I have been able to enjoy this heartwarming soup. Since I love lots of different soups, I was especially overjoyed.

I have always been a fan of home cooked meals. Having been relatively spoiled for as long as I can remember with the sublime excellence of my grandmother’s cooking, my mother’s cooking and my father’s barbecuing skills, it’s not hard to guess why I’m probably accustomed to homemade meals.

It seems to me that there is an increasing number of young people who aren’t cooking anymore and relying more on restaurant food and bought treats. Now I’m not against eating out by any means and there are a lot of fantastic restaurants around that you should certainly check out.

But there really is nothing quite like a home-cooked meal. It is too bad more young people aren’t at least trying to cook.

I wouldn’t call myself a great cook. I wouldn’t call myself a bad cook either. I figure I’m somewhere in between. I know how to follow recipes and when I cook dinner, my meals all taste good. I also make my own lunches nearly every day, which aren’t complicated. They usually consist of a bun or a croissant with some fruit and yogurt or pudding and a granola bar. However, it tastes great and saves me money as an added bonus.

Yet in my experience, young people are more likely to bring bought cookies to a potluck than homemade ones or eat out rather than cook at home. Why the trend has shifted to that, I can’t say for sure, but if young people slowly stop cooking, there might come a day when nobody home cooks at all, which would be a shame.

Now I know that there are a lot of young people out there who do cook well and enjoy cooking. I sincerely applaud all of you for that. Not only are home-cooked meals healthier for you, but it’s cheaper, too. It’s really easy for that restaurant bill to add up, especially if you do it regularly. Chances are you can pay a similar amount for groceries that’ll last you for several weeks.

Even though it might seem cheaper to grab a burger at a fast food chain than buy groceries, it’s really not that good for the body. In June 2011, the Public Health Agency of Canada released a report from data collected between 2007 and 2009 that stated one in four Canadian adults are obese.

Of children between the ages of six and 17, 8.6 per cent are obese. The report stated that factors that influence obesity include lack of physical activity, socioeconomic status and diet, among other things.

Restaurants may offer healthy entrees, but restaurant food tends to have more calories and fat than in meals you can make yourself at home. Because you are the one making the food, you know exactly what’s in it with what quality of ingredients. There are no surprises (except perhaps how your meal turns out). You don't have to make anything complicated either. In fact, simple meals like macaroni and tomatoes are best to start with.

Eating out is best done in moderation and not done for every meal, every day. (Unless you’re away on a holiday somewhere in which case I would definitely treat myself for every meal, every day. And yes, I speak from experience, but that's what holidays are for.)

I never said cooking at home was easy. Trust me, it can be a challenge. But when the meal turns out and you can sit at the table eating your own macaroni and tomatoes, it feels really good and tastes even better, not just to your stomach but also to your paycheque.

Organizations: Public Health Agency of Canada

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