cooking Health Healthy Eating Recipes

Three Steps to Success in the Kitchen

Combatting kitchen-related fear of failure is easier than you might think.

Updated 11/2020

When I was seeing individual patients, I once had a woman tell me she put the baby gate up to keep her toddler out of the kitchen to avoid the mess.  It was a sad moment for me to hear, for her to tell, and most importantly, for that toddler to be left out of learning a basic yet essential lifelong skill. 

Cooking.  It’s often said that kitchens sell homes.  If you watch any television that includes home remodeling and/or buying and selling, you have likely also heard someone laughingly say they need a gourmet kitchen even if they don’t cook. It’s time to change the mentality that not cooking is “a thing” and stop letting fear decide whether or not we can tackle our next meal.  Here are the steps to take to lead you to success in meal preparation.  Your health will thank you for it.

  1. Prepare properly.  Read the whole recipe, including ingredients and directions, ahead of time.  Take inventory of the items you have on hand and the equipment you need to make it.  Make a list of gaps and shop accordingly before anything is started in the kitchen.  Then, don’t just let food happen to you.  Instead of playing defense surrounded by food that you maybe wouldn’t have chosen yourself, because you didn’t plan your own, play offense and make a plan. 
  2. Leave enough time. Cooking is messy.  It takes time.  Embrace it.  We are talking about the process of preparing food, without which, we would die.  Literally, right?  So leave time to do it properly, and dare I say, have some fun?  Turn on the radio, pour a glass of water or wine if you desire, and enlist the help of others.  Have a conversation while you cook.  It can be life changing – or at least enjoyable.
  3. Look at cooking as a journey, not a destination. We are never “done”, so stop trying to finish.  The next meal, the next day, the next occasion are on the horizon.  That’s the tricky part of making better choices.  There is no finish line, only a continued journey, so don’t wish to be done.  Keep on learning and experimenting. Enjoy your culinary adventure.

By Kim Kirchherr

I am a dietitian working in food and fiber (agriculture) through retail, addressing opportunities to make things better for people and planet.