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The Lifesaving Art of Cooking - Why Every Young Adult Should Learn

There are some life skills that I feel every child should be taught. This is something I have advocated for since my childhood. Cooking is one of them. The basic art of putting available ingredients together and providing oneself with sustenance. Much like everything in life, we have to practice our skills to make them better. However, in today’s world of convenience, many young adults choose to order in due to restriction of time, restriction of supplies, inability to cook or just being too tired. As a mom I get constant calls asking me for different variations to the same recipe. But as a dietitian I see more young professionals struggling with health issues due to not cooking at home.

Living away from the safety net of parents and families, especially for students or young adults, can be exhilarating but also overwhelming. Suddenly, the responsibilities of daily life, including cooking, fall squarely on their shoulders. In such scenarios, the ability to cook becomes not just a matter of convenience but also a crucial life skill that can greatly enhance one’s quality of life.

First, cooking at home is undeniably healthier than constantly relying on takeout or pre-packaged meals. When you cook your own meals, you have full control over the ingredients you use, allowing you to make healthier choices and avoid excessive amounts of salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. This is particularly important for young adults who are often navigating the challenges of maintaining a balanced diet amidst the demands of academic or professional life.

Second, learning to cook fosters independence and self-sufficiency. Being able to whip up a meal from scratch not only saves money but also instills a sense of confidence and empowerment. No longer are you dependent on others or external services for your basic needs; you have the ability to nourish yourself and others, a skill that is invaluable in any stage of life.

Third, cooking can be a source of creativity and self-expression. Experimenting with different ingredients and recipes allows individuals to discover their culinary preferences and develop their own unique cooking style. This creative outlet can serve as a form of stress relief and a means of self-care in the midst of busy schedules and hectic lifestyles.

Learning to cook also fosters social connections and strengthens relationships. Whether it’s hosting a dinner party for friends or preparing a meal for a loved one, cooking provides opportunities for bonding and creating lasting memories. Sharing a homemade meal with others fosters a sense of community and belonging.

In addition to these personal benefits, mastering the art of cooking can also have broader societal implications. As individuals become more adept at cooking for themselves, they are less reliant on fast food chains and processed foods, which can contribute to a healthier, more sustainable food system. By promoting home cooking, we can reduce food waste, support local farmers, and cultivate a culture of culinary appreciation and mindfulness.

As a mom, I firmly believe that making sure children learn the basics of cooking will not only ensure their ability to survive in a different places but also feed me when I grow old.

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