Let's Cook! Take the pledge to cook more often with fresh ingredients.
Getting back to the basics of cooking meals made with fresh ingredients is important for everyone. It can help you to stay healthy and independent and bring joy when you connect with family and friends to share delicious meals. Pledge now to receive creative recipes, tips and tools emailed to you every two weeks for the next four months.
By taking the pledge to cook more often, you are eligible to win a grocery gift card.
Like reading, writing and math, learning to cook is an important life skill.
To become an independent and confident cook, it is important to learn how to:
- Plan meals
- Shop smart
- Be safe in the kitchen
- Follow recipes
- Store food properly
- Use kitchen equipment
- Keep a well stocked kitchen
Getting children involved in the kitchen will help them develop skills they will keep for life. Learning to read a recipe teaches comprehension skills; how to double or triple a recipe teaches math skills and knowing how to make meals with leftovers tests creativity skills. These are all skills that will help your children stay healthy and independent as well as build their confidence and social skills.
To help you learn and teach these valuable life skills check out Dietitians of Canada: Plan Well, Shop Smart and Cooking and meal planning tips from Health Canada. Both of these resources provide meal-planning techniques and tips to help your family get fast, delicious and healthy meals on the table in no time.
Over half of Canadians eat meals prepared out of the home at least once a day. Today there are competing demands of work, household, transportation, child care and more. With these demands, less time is spent preparing meals at home. Many turn to buying convenient and expensive ready-to-eat foods instead.
Cooking simple meals at home can help you save time and money. Get the most out of your time and dollars by:
- Planning simple meals with fresh ingredients
- Checking grocery store flyers for sales
- Making a grocery list and buying only what you need
- Buying local foods that are in season
- Choosing store or no-name brands
- Storing food properly to reduce waste
- Choosing simple and quick recipes
- Using leftovers for another meal
- Making large amounts of a recipe that can be refrigerated or frozen so that they’re ready to be enjoyed later
- Seven Steps for Fast and Easy Menu Planning
- Food Choices: When Money is Tight
- 20 Ways to Save Money on your groceries
- Six ways grocery stores get you to spend more
- Time-saving cooking tips for healthy meals
- EatRight Ontario Recipe Collection
- Video: How to store your fruits
- Video: How to store your vegetables
- Video: Simple steps to freeze food safely
You do not have to be a professional chef to prepare a good, tasty meal. When you cook at home, you get to know what’s in your food and can control what you eat. For example, you get to:
- Decide how much salt, sugar and fat to add
- Change recipes to suit your likes and dislikes
- Choose healthy cooking methods like grilling and steaming
- Decide how much to make
- Support local farmers by buying fresh and local
- EatRight Ontario Recipe Collection
- EatRight Ontario’s Kids Recipe Challenge
- Health Canada’s fast and easy meal ideas
- Video: Quick and easy breakfast ideas
- Video: Quick and easy lunch ideas
- Video: Quick and easy snack ideas
- Check out these Simply Cook videos to inspire you to get in the kitchen and cook!
- Use these videos to help you plan, shop and cook healthy meals
- View these videos that bust common myths about salt, sugar, fat and more
Cooking is a great way to bring people together and share in the joy of eating. Cooking together not only keeps family traditions alive, it also connects your diverse cultural traditions and can boost your confidence and self-esteem.
Families and friends who eat together, eat better. Children and adults usually have more vegetables and fruit and less soft drinks and junk food. The benefits go beyond nutrition. When children eat with their family, they tend to do better in school and have more self-confidence, stronger language skills and participate in less risky behaviours.
Connecting with friends or family at the table can help you build closer relationships. If you have children, talking about the day or having interesting conversations will help your kids learn social skills and get along with others. Try our 101 questions to ask your kids at mealtimes to get the conversation started. Keep distractions to a minimum to enjoy uninterrupted time together. Turn off the TV and do not bring cell phones or laptops to the table.
Start cooking at home today! Share your creations and get inspired at #LetsCookYR