How to Cook Healthier: Family Dinners Mean Healthier Families

Cooking for family dinner is not so easy these days. Modern families, usually with both parents working, find this hard to do but the importance of sharing meal time with family remains the same. In fact, it may even be more important now than it was before.

According to research, family dinners mean healthier families. General findings indicate that families who eat dinner together are more likely to be in good health. Results also show that children get more fruits and vegetables and an overall higher quality diet. Truly, family dinners mean healthier families! But that’s not all! Eating dinner with family is also said to help lower risky behavior such as pre-marital sex and drugs and increases scholastic performance of kids.

It is not necessary to invest in expensive cookware for your family to enjoy dinner time together. You can use basic cooking techniques to prepare your family dinners in healthy ways. Here are some healthy cooking methods you might want to try:

1)      Stir-Frying—uses a small amount of oil. It allows small, uniform-sized food to be quickly cooked by rapidly stirring them in a wok or large non-stick frying pan over high heat.

2)      Sauteing—uses a small amount of fat to cook relatively small or thin pieces of food in a shallow pan over relatively high heat.

3)      Poaching—helps food retain its shape during cooking. Gently simmer ingredients in water until cooked through and tender. You may also use broth, vinegar, juice or other flavorful liquid.

4)      Grilling and broiling—these methods can be done both in and outdoors. It exposes food to direct heat and allows fat to drip away from the food.

5)      Roasting—uses an oven’s dry heat to cook food at higher temperatures than baking.

6)      Braising—involves browning the ingredient first in a pan and then slowly cooking them with a small amount of water or broth.

7)      Steaming—results in more nutritious food as fewer nutrients are leached out. One of the simplest cooking techniques around, steaming food can be done with a perforated basket suspended above a simmering liquid.

8)      Baking—generally doesn’t require the addition of fat to food. Place food in a pan or dish and let the hot, dry air of the oven do its job.

Without adding too much salt or fat, the methods described above will help retain valuable nutrients and flavor in your food. Certainly family dinners mean healthier families. Try them and happy eatin