5 reasons to nail your cooking skills

With all the delicious food options available on UberEats, Menulog and Deliveroo, it’s totally possible to avoid the kitchen all together. But, knowing how to whip up a tasty meal without burning the house down or losing a finger is a really valuable skill.

Find out all the reasons why you should get cooking below.

1. It’ll save you cash

There’s nothing worse than checking your bank account after a big week of splurging on takeaway meals. While it mightn’t seem like much at the time, all those late night pad thais and early morning brekkie rolls really add up. Meanwhile, a solid grocery shop can sort you out for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a whole week. Doing a weekly food shop also makes it easier to keep track of your spending and budget out your meals. Yay for extra $$$.

2. You’ll eat healthier

When you cook your own food, you learn what goes into a healthy meal (ie. fruit, veg, whole grains, lean protein) and what isn’t necessary (ie. artificial preservatives and flavours, extra sugar). This is especially important when you’re young because you need to eat nutritious food to fuel your growing mind and body.

By cooking for yourself, you have more control over what you eat. For example, if you’re craving pizza but trying to look after yourself, you can use wholemeal pizza bases, add lotsa veggies and go easy on the cheese. Voila - healthier eating!

3. It’ll give you independence

Being able to cook a healthy, affordable meal is a key adulting skill. It can seem scary at first, but you don’t need to master a soufflé right off the bat. Instead, start with easy, affordable recipes and build on your skills. At the very least, it’s nice to know that you can whip up a quick, nourishing meal when your 'rents or carers aren’t there to help.

Pro-tip: if you’ve got random ingredients at home and don’t know what to do with them, search for recipes by ingredient on Taste.com.au!

4. You’ll get to show off

Throwing together a yummy meal is a sure-fire way to impress the special people in your life. It opens up a world of social possibilities, from hosting dinner parties, to cooking for a hot date or firing up the barbie for a Sunday sausage sizzle. Check out these insta-nutritionists for snap-worthy recipes, get cooking and wait for the compliments to start rolling in.

5. It can be fun

Once you get the hang of things, cooking up a storm can be a lot of fun. You can get a bunch of mates together for a friendly bake-off, organise a potluck party or spend a solo evening learning to master your favourite dish. And if you don’t feel the love, that’s okay too! Pump up some tunes and keep it simple.

No sweat if things don’t go perfectly, it’s all learning!

This article was developed in collaboration with the Food and Mood Centre, Deakin University. Check out foodandmoodcentre.com.au for more information.

What can I do now?

  • Search the net for an easy, healthy and affordable recipe and give it a go tonight.

  • Hit up the ReachOut forums and talk to other young people about their cooking wins (and fails).