The Kitchen Zone



Home is Where the Health Is

(ARA) - It happened so gradually -- things just steadily got bigger. Heaping meals served on plates that look more like dog bowls. Drinks so large they have an undertow.

It's no wonder American waistlines followed the expansion of food portions. Yet, there's a simple solution that can help everyone tighten the belt and buckle down to a much healthier lifestyle: eat at home!

Foods prepared at home give people control over both the portion sizes and the ingredients that go into their bodies. Often, fast food, prepackaged and restaurant foods use high levels of salt, fat and sugar to make the meals more appealing. Eating at home helps consumers choose just how much they need to eat. As an added bonus, eating at home just makes good economic sense because it is cheaper than eating out or buying expensive prepackaged meals.

"Particularly because obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other diet-related health problems have become growing national concerns, we launched an awareness program encouraging consumers to reap all the advantages that come from eating at home," says Hugh J. Rushing, executive vice president of the Cookware Manufacturers Association (CMA).

The CMA offers these tips that contribute to a happy home and healthy lifestyle:

Cart Smart

* Make a shopping list and stick to it as much as possible. Without a list, you might be more likely to buy impulse items.

* Avoid shopping when you are hungry.

* If you use coupons, bravo! But, steer clear of items that you really don't need just because you have a coupon for it.

* Bigger isn't always better. Larger bags, boxes or cans don't necessarily save you money and may encourage you to eat more than you need.

What's Cooking

* Use nonstick cookware that allows you to reduce the oils needed in recipes.

* If you don't use nonstick cookware, utilize spray coatings to reduce the need for oil.

* Select low-fat and low-sugar recipes that are big on taste and nutrition.

* Pack any leftovers for your lunch the next day at the office to keep you from eating out and spending more money than necessary.

Table Talk

* Find easy-to-prepare meals so that you can spend more of the available mealtime enjoying it together with your family.

* Make mealtime a positive experience. Allow each person to decide how much to eat and avoid pressuring youngsters to "clean their plates."

* Establish a mealtime and stick with it. Such a routine, especially for children, can help develop lifelong healthy eating habits.

For more information, visit For more than 80 years, the Cookware Manufacturers Association has been educating consumers about cookware and bakeware, its proper selection, use and maintenance.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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