• Health
  • Parenting

Here's how to save money, eat healthier by cooking at home

  • Posted
Father and son baking together

In this article, you’ll find answers to questions like:

1. How to tempt my child to eat?
2. How to involve my child?
3. How to build their plate?

While swinging through the fast-food drive-through on your way home may be quicker, it’s healthier and cheaper to prepare meals at home.

“Grocery shopping and cooking at home saves a significant amount of money on any budget,” says Dr. Mary L. Gavin, a pediatrician and senior medical editor at KidsHealth.  “Frozen fruits and vegetables are healthy and very budget friendly. Canned goods are also easy to fit into the budget. Just be sure to rinse canned food in a colander before cooking to reduce the amount of sodium or fructose corn syrup that may have been added.”

1. HOW TO TEMPT MY CHILD TO EAT?

Registered dietician Hannah Michaels, a former nutrition adviser at the Orlando-based Nutritious Lifestyles, a program funded locally by Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, underscores the importance of drawing your child into meal preparation.

 “Involving your child in food preparation and how you present the food will be key to getting your child to eat,” she says.

2. HOW TO INVOLVE MY CHILD?

Gavin suggests to pick recipes with ingredients that your children like. “Invite them to join you in the grocery shopping, cooking and serving of foods,” she says.

Consider buying a cookbook with recipes that use healthy ingredients in common favorite dishes, such as “Deceptively Delicious” by Jessica Seinfeld.

3. HOW TO BUILD THEIR PLATE?

Michaels suggests following the "My Plate" model as described at choosemyplate.gov.

"When preparing a meal for your family, keep in mind the more colorful, the better," she says. In other words, varying colors of fruits, vegetables and grains should make up the majority of the plate.


SOURCES:

• Hannah Michaels, former nutrition adviser, Nutritious Lifestyles
• Dr. Mary L. Gavin, senior medical editor, KidsHealth

Back to listing

For a listing of all resources, click here.
Additional Resources
You May Also Enjoy
  • Keys to home-cooked meals: planning and shopping ahead

    Compile a list of ideas for meals and set aside the best day each week to shop and prep meals to freeze. Here are more tips and insight from our experts to boost your culinary health.

  • VIDEO: What — and how much — should I feed my munchkin?

    Have you been second-guessing what you're feeding your little darling? Wondering how much their diet should resemble yours? Well, this video may help.

  • How to recognize eating disorders — and find help

    Eating disorders are still a problem for pre-teen and teen boys and girls, particularly in this social media age of Instagram and Snapchat. Read on for local expert advice on how to spot the signs and understand the causes.