“Happiness is returning to your 5 star home restaurant every single day”
The presence of eateries, restaurants and hawker centres have slowly but surely displaced the culture of home cooked family meals in Singapore. However, recent statistics have bucked this phenomenon, unveiling a favourable shift back to the familiar kitchen experience. In the 2014 Electrolux Asia Pacific Food Survey, 80% of Singaporeans indicated they prefer to eat at home rather than dine out. This is a stark contrast to 60% of Singaporeans who are revealed to have dine out weekly in 2010 by Health Promotion Board.
In fact, this promising sight has been bolstered by a fresh trend of home cooking observed among youths in hostels and back home. A collective return to cooking from scratch will certainly fortify both body and mind. For families looking to engage in a meaningful activity this June holiday, here are 5 steps to get you started cooking with conviction!
The family that eats together, stays together. Home cooking is one of the best avenues to involve everyone in the kitchen to give and share love. Family meals are more than just food, they provide opportunities for sharing with one another the day’s events and enjoy being in each other’s company. People don’t remember the food as much as the people and their cooking experiences. Home cooking is able to give families the space to explore around different ingredients and flavours. If you have always wanted a food fight, this is your moment! Playing with food often tempts us to think out of the box and create unique family moments with every kitchen story.
Getting the Kids Involved
One of the most effective ways to liven the kitchen space is to rope in your children into the cooking process. But be prepared for a war zone in the kitchen for the next few hours! Getting the kids implicated in the decision-making during mealtimes will certainly limit their food whines and increase their responsibility. Trivial but significant activities such as menu-planning, grocery shopping, food preparation and clean-up creates participation of every child in one way or another. For added fun, themed dinners like ‘Lemon and Lime Night!’ or a ‘Korean Night!’ accompanied with appropriate table decorations are also recommended to boost creativity and entice the kids to commit their time as well.
The dining table can serve as a platform for parents to dish out recipes of social values, table manners or even advices to your children. Sharing a home cooked meal together with your family and friends reinforces a priceless bond that can be attained simply by engaging in face-to-face conversations. On the hindsight, having routine family meals have proven to instil a sense of security and a feeling of belonging in the household. For youths, this also translates to having better social relationships with peers, increased motivation at school, and even improved grades in classes!
Every Family is Different
For working parents, setting a common time for dinner with the kids may be a challenge due to their inflexible working hours. Entertaining kids or cleaning up would be the last thing on their mind after a long day’s work. An alternative is to set aside regular weekend lunches and dinners for the family to congregate and catch up with each other. The circle can also be expanded to include extended family members to encourage home cooked potluck for a gathering.
When it comes to the most value meals, home cooked food has got it in the bag. With simple planning of your family meals a week ahead, ingredients and dishes can be prepared in sufficient proportions. Leftovers can be used for subsequent meals, while packed lunches/dinners can be the way to go for children. Not only does it reduces unnecessary expenses, preparing meals at home also teaches you to train your palate towards a more nutritious fare, a healthier waistline. By balancing healthy ingredients to create flavourful meals all the time, you can be sure your finesse for cooking will be refined by leaps and bounds.