Bake It ‘Til You Make It: Creativity in the Kitchen Can Benefit Your Health

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Brooklyn Chillemi

“Cooking dinner frequently at home is associated with consumption of a healthier diet whether or not one is trying to lose weight,” according to Cambridge University Press.

Brooklyn Chillemi, Editor

Chop, chop, chop. Scrape. Chop, chop, chop. 

Preparing ingredients for a home-cooked meal can provide a sense of focus and clarity, allowing you to center on the task at hand and take a break from the chaos of your day. 

And with the increase in the time that people are spending at home, with many schools operating digitally and several workplaces shifting to working at home, as well as many restaurants closing due to the coronavirus pandemic, many people have turned to cooking and baking at home. Turns out, this is not only beneficial for your taste buds, but also your health. 

Kneading dough has a similar effect to chopping, and can also provide a feeling of connectedness and creativity, joining work with fun. “The sensation of shaping, molding, and moving the dough allows us to feel immersed in the experience and can be playful, reminiscent of the experience many of us had as kids,” according to the Institute of Culinary Education. (Brooklyn Chillemi)

Along with the physical work, the scents from brownies baking in the oven or soup simmering on the stove can bring the comfort of nostalgia. “Allowing yourself to be immersed in these memories as you cook is a therapeutic way to relieve stress and boost your mood,” writes Hannah Dalpiaz, RD, LDN, a senior clinical nutritionist at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center

In addition, getting creative in the kitchen allows you to make new memories, especially if you’re cooking or baking with friends and family. Collaborating on a project together allows you to have fun with each other while also creating something that everyone needs: food. 

And not only is cooking and baking at home beneficial for your mental health and your relationships, but it also can have a positive impact on your physical well-being.

“Cooking dinner frequently at home is associated with consumption of a healthier diet whether or not one is trying to lose weight,” according to the Cambridge University Press. Because you are able to customize the food to your needs, you can choose your ingredients and control portion sizes in the dishes you create. 

To get started in the kitchen, The Falconer put together a video explaining how to make chocolate chip cookies, a sweet treat for every season.