Whilst in the past cooking together as a family was very much a part of everyday life, it is much less so now. In an increasingly pressured world, with many options easily available for take-away meals, there are also fewer opportunities for children to learn essential culinary skills.
For a few hints and tips, BBC Good Food provides an excellent guide to cookery skills by age which includes recipes that make use of ingredients which are often seen as leftovers.
Focused recipes are also available for specific situations, such as student life, camping holidays, family picnics and children's parties, within the BBC Good Food family and kids section.
Increasing cost of convenience foods
Recognising the additional and increasing cost to families of ready meals, fast food and takeaways, the BBC’s Eat Well For Less programme provides a plethora of useful suggestions for reducing the family food budget and food waste, and encouraging healthy options.
The cost of ready-made lunches
In an article in The Guardian (3 November 2017), it was estimated that buying a ready-made lunch every day costs approximately £1,200 per annum! This quite significant amount of money could be saved towards a car, wedding or holiday! Takeaway food also not only increases the costs to families but is also likely to include excess sugar, salt and fat.
Prep, planning and some extra freezer space
When considering the preparation of packed lunches in advance, there is a common misconception that this involves a lot of extra work. In fact, a little bit of planning, and preferably some space in the freezer, is all that’s needed. It is really easy to make an extra portion or two every time you make dinner and either place it in the fridge for later in the week or tuck it in the freezer for longer-term use.
Reducing single-use plastic
A further benefit of home cooked food and careful planning will be a reduction in the amount of single-use plastic. More shops are offering a refill service, saving on waste packaging, and the 'Refill tap water' campaign aims to make refilling your water bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible.
Recipes…sharing family favourites
Do you have favourite recipes that you learnt from family members or friends? Or do you have tips and tricks to reduce the family budget, simplify the preparation of meals in advance (for home and work use), whilst simultaneously reducing waste and enjoying healthy options?