For sake of health, home-cooked meals are well within reach

As someone who advocates for home-cooked meals, both as a mother and a funder fighting childhood obesity, I was thrilled to see the article “To do: Make dinner every night” (g section, March 5). The reasons for the demise of cooking are understandable. As the article points out, everyone is busier than ever, working longer hours and chauffeuring children to endless activities.

But I can’t emphasize enough how important cooking is. Opting for a home-cooked meal gives us control over how and what we eat and what we feed our children. And the data suggest that obesity, along with side effects such as heart disease and diabetes, increases with the number of prepackaged or takeout meals we put on the table.

The strategies parents shared, such as planning ahead for a week’s worth of meals or serving a healthy breakfast as dinner, are fantastic examples that all families can strive for. Cooking can be scary, but no one’s suggesting a soufflé every night. Simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love are possible in just one pot and a short amount of time.

Karen Voci

Executive director

Harvard Pilgrim

Health Care Foundation