Men need to step away from the pizza box, don an apron and get busy in the kitchen, according to Dietitians Association Australia (DAA) spokesperson and Accredited Practising Dietitian Themis Chryssidis. “Cooking at home is absolutely key to maintaining weight and improving health,” he said.
A recent survey of 800 men commissioned by the DAA, found 90 percent of men ‘like cooking’ or ‘like cooking at lot’.
But it shows only 24 percent of men cook at home more than twice a week. So men are just not stepping into the kitchen often enough and unfortunately men are almost twice as likely as women to eat three or more takeaway meals a week - often high in kilojoules, fat, sugar and salt. Clearly time to man up and make cooking more of a priority.
The survey was launched as part of DAA’s campaign to inspire Australians to make simple changes towards smarter eating, ditching the takeaways and cooking more meals at home.
What’s so good about home cooking?
“Research tells us that people who cook at home are more likely to have a healthier diet, eat less kilojoules, and eat more vegetables,” said Mr Chryssidis.
“Not only is cooking at home healthier, it’s also more affordable and a great way to relax and socialise.”
Four tips to expand your cooking repertoire
It’s also time for men to think outside their normal cooking repertoire, beyond their ‘grill master’ personas, and start preparing salad greens and vegetable dishes too, not just a perfectly cooked steak. Not sure where to start? Try these suggestions:
1. Check out some cookbooks or search the web for recipes
Bookstores (and libraries) are overflowing with recipe books by celebrity chefs, from Jamie Oliver to Yotam Ottolenghi. But if you’re more of a novice, look for some Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks online or check your friends' bookshelves (most households have a selection). Start with quick and easy basic ones, then explore everything from BBQs, vegetarian, low fat, diabetes or heart friendly, to international cuisine and dinner party ideas as you get more adventurous. Look for the healthier recipe options – you’ll find plenty.
Here’s a cookbook filled with healthy recipes you can download for free: Healthy Weight Week Cookbook Or for specific recipes, try www.taste.com.au
2. Ask friends who are good cooks for tips
Or ask them to demonstrate and teach you how to make their specialty dish you want to master. They’ll be flattered by your request, and you’ll improve your skills.
3. Take a cooking class
Your local fresh food market may run food tours and cooking classes; many Community Colleges offer cooking classes too, as do some specialist cookery equipment shops or provedores. Best ones offer a demonstration then a hands-on session, with food to enjoy afterwards, to get the most out of your class. You don’t have to go alone, make it fun by inviting some of your friends. Just google ‘cooking classes’ and your city to find options.
4. YouTube it for free
If you want to master any particular recipe, or just learn basic kitchen skills, you can find how-to videos of everything from knife skills to complex food preparation online. And there’s plenty of food bloggers who provide excellent information and advice too.
So, there’s no excuse not to ’man up’ in the kitchen tonight!