Saturday, 23 February 2013

10 reasons why parents should cook from scratch


why parents should cook from scratch twixt downs and sea

  1. It’s more healthy. Modern ready made dishes, sauces and cakes all have more sugar and salt than the home made versions I grew up with. And the cheaper products have other nasties like saturated fats, aspartame and additives.
  2. Following on from that, the second reason is that you know what’s in it. Maybe you prefer butter to margarine because it’s natural, maybe you don’t use sodium or salt because someone has high blood pressure, or someone has allergies. It’s better for fussy eaters too,  you can leave out the garlic and maybe substitute carrots for mushrooms.
  3. And you can add some healthy extras. My boys wouldn’t choose a fruit cake but adding some berries or raisins to a chocolate muffin goes down okay, they don’t notice that a few seeds have got in there as well.
  4. It’s fresh. So no preservatives needed.
  5. It’s cheaper. We are having a big focus on frugality in our house. It is a  fact that some discount ranges may appear cheaper but I would suggest that if you look at the ingredients and portion sizes generally home made is better value. (Especially if the fruit/veg component is home grown too).
  6. You can use what you have in the house. Someone gives you apples, make apple cake. Too long until payday, use your store cupboard basics and be creative.
  7. It’s enjoyable. Baking in particular is relaxing, but so too is chopping up a mountain of vegetables for a stir fry, kneading dough, beating egg whites. My weekend wind down begins with a dozen ‘fairy’ cakes for my boys.
  8. It’s service. Serving your children, husband and family. Serving your workmates with a tray bake for a meeting.
  9. Modelling for your children. Mine was one of the generations of women who decided that house work was demeaning to women. Many young women and men now parenting have never seen how to prepare fresh vegetables, raw meat or to make a scone. The things that are second nature to me to make are those I saw my mother and grandmothers making. Our heritage.
  10. It’s a chance to do something practical with your children that has a great end result. Maybe a less academic one can shine, a studious child take a break from studying, a lively one put their energy into being productive. It’s a life skill and a chance to talk about healthy eating. And it’s a great one for grandparents too. In fact, if you’re not confident, you could learn with the littlies.

There are loads of great recipes on the internet or in cook books. I’ve shared a few of mine already and my plan for 2013 is to do a series of the real basic stuff, basic pastry, cake and biscuit recipes to start with.

Does anyone have any other good reasons for cooking from scratch? Did I miss something really obvious?

Linking up with the lovely ladies at Domestically Divine Tuesday,  Titus 2sday, WFMW, Proverbs 32 Thursday and Frugal Friday.


  1. I am of the generation that eats from premade boxed mixes and frozen meals. God has been working on me. I'm being led back to the basics. He's telling to bake my own bread, grow and preserve our food, and learn about the things we're putting into our bodies. I am 29 years old and my husband tells me I'm trying to live like my Grandmother. Quite honestly, that's true because it's where God is leading me. Your post hit home here. Every word rings true. I'm wondering what fairy cakes are and if you'd like to share your recipe?

    1. Fairy cakes - they're like your American cupcakes but a basic Victoria sandwich mix. If you have scales weigh 2 eggs than use the same amount of self raising flour, caster sugar and soft margarine (or butter).Everything at room temperature. If you use margarine, you can put everything in together and beat with an electric mixer, with butter it's best to cream the butter and sugar first, then add eggs then fold in the flour.Divide into 12 cake cases and bake at 190 for about 15 minutes.test by pressing, they're done if they spring back. You can add vanilla, dried fruit etc. If you want to add cocoa take a couple of tablespoons of flour out and replace with cocoa.
      A medium egg weighs about 60g or 2oz.
      Use same recipe with 4 eggs for a Victoria sandwich or tray bake.
      email me if I've left something out ( and I'd love to know how you get on.



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