With inflation impacting our daily necessities such as food, many people have turned back to eating at home. Prices for individual items such as eggs, milk, and bread have also risen but we have more control over our food if we make it ourselves. Below are some healthy reminders for our seasoned and beginner chefs by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Health Safety In the Kitchen:
- Wash Your Hands: Yes, just like in the restaurant bathrooms, all cooking personnel should have clean hands before handling food. Even while at home, we need to wash our hands.
- Clean your groceries: Cleaning groceries is an excellent way to not only rid the germs of other patrons’ germs but of lingering pesticides.
- Separate Utensils: Cross-contamination can happen at home. Be sure not to use the same utensil on multiple products. For example, the knife you cut the raw chicken with should not be used to cut the cucumbers for a salad.
- Know Your Temperature: A quick search online or in a book on what temperature to cook raw items is essential. Serving a raw item is not only inconvenient, but it can make someone sick.
- Clean Up: Clean up the kitchen! Disinfect and wipe everything down to avoid cross-contamination later. Example: You used eggs that splattered and did not properly clean, and someone started chopping an apple in the same spot. This can make someone sick, especially if people have allergies to specific items.
Following these steps while cooking will ensure a healthy experience, and below, we have an infographic provided by the Food Safety and Inspection Service from the USDA. Cooking food at the wrong temperature can be detrimental to our health.
Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA
Now, what should you be cooking? Well, that depends on your daily life and physical activity. The standard image of the “healthy plate” can be found below:
Harvard University, Healthy Plate.
This image shows that grains and protein are each ¼ of the plate, and fruits and vegetables combined are ½ of the plate. Again, this is an estimated infographic of our daily nutrition. Still, one should do their research and speak to a healthcare professional on what is the necessary breakdown for their health.
After you get the necessary information about your healthy plate, we can move on to the recipes! Cookbooks and digital recipes are available and can help hone in on some creativity in the kitchen. Spice it up by trying new recipes and ingredients and making it fun for yourself, and engaging family members and friends.
Remember being healthy and being creative go hand and hand, we may have to eat at home, but that does not mean we leave the flavor outside.
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