Vegetables look much more appetizing when you're standing in the middle of the farmer's market than when you're staring at a fast-food menu. Instead of being led by pretty menu pictures, you'll make something that's better for your body. After all, healthier choices at the market lead to healthier meals at home.
You'll eat fewer calories.
People who cooked meals at home at least six days a week consumed fewer calories than those who frequently ate out, a study published recently in the journal Public Health Nutrition found. You probably have no idea what's actually in that restaurant meal you're eating.
Do they use olive oil or vegetable oil to cook the meat? Is there added sugar in the sauce? What about food coloring? Is the spinach organic or covered in pesticides? How much salt is in that soup? All of these add up to lots of extra calories!
You'll know what's in your food.
Restaurants don't always give every single ingredient, and occasionally substitutions are made. But when you're cooking the food yourself, you know exactly what went into it. You also know what your family's needs and concerns are. As an added bonus, you will know whether those ingredients are organic or not, since you purchased them.
You'll find it's easier than you think.
Start simply -- with a breakfast smoothie or one dinner a week. Then build up your repertoire. Don't try to imitate your favorite "Top Chef" until you've gotten some experience with the basics. And remember, if you can read, you can cook!